German firms have been hard at work lining up their supply chains to produce massive volumes of electric vehicles, hoping to solve both problems at a stroke.
BMW has awarded a contract worth just over 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) for CATL to make cells for electric cars, while Volkswagen has picked CATL and South Korea's Samsung and LG Chem to deliver $25 billion worth of batteries.
While Washington and Beijing trade barbs with each other over billions worth of import tariffs, German chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed the Chinese premier Li Keqiang and his delegation to Berlin on Monday (July 9).
CATL's Erfurt factory will make Thuringia "one of the most important European locations for battery technology", regional economy minister Wolfgang Tiefensee told news agency DPA.
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"This underlines the brand's additional global potential, which will now be significantly supported through the joint venture with Great Wall Motor", BMW said. CATL reached shipments of 12 GWh in 2017. Ltd.is accelerating overseas deployment as it plans to invest 240 million euros (US$281.92 million) to build factories in Germany, The Paper reported. Bosch a German vehicle-parts supplier seems to be a viable instance, as the firm recently decided not to manufacture battery-cells due to the increase in competition.
However, Ferdinand Dudenhöffer, professor of automotive economics at the Center for Automotive Research in Duisburg, said that the CATL battery-cell plant is a good thing for Germany and would help keep German carmakers competitive.
Ambitious plans for electric vehicle battery production have driven sharp price rises in recent years for lithium and cobalt, which is used to stabilize and extend the life of lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, and has raised fears over the security of supply of those metals.
Duesmann said BMW would only conclude contracts where inhuman conditions and child labor were ruled out.