CATL chairman and CEO Robin Zheng will visit South Korea next week to meet executives of Hyundai Motor Group, TheElec has learned.
Zheng’s visit is made to strengthen the Chinese battery giant’s partnership with Hyundai Motor, which uses CATL batteries on its Niro EV models.
The CATL CEO is very likely to meet Hyundai Motor executive chairman Chung Eui-sun, sources said.
Earlier this week, Hyundai Motor Group commenced the groundbreaking ceremony in Georgia in the US for a new EV factory to be built there.
The automobile giant is actively seeking to procure enough batteries for the cars that will be made there.
CATL originally intend to build a battery factory in the US but is now looking to Mexico instead due to the worsening relationship between the US and China.
A battery factory in Mexico will benefit from the Free Trade Agreement between the country and the US __ which means CATL can supply its batteries from there to Hyundai’s Georgia factory.
CATL can also procure nickel, lithium and other materials from other countries with FTA in place with the US such as Canada and Australia.
Last year, Hyundai Mobis, the parts maker of Hyundai Motor, signed a licensing agreement with CATL for the latter’s cell-to-pack technology.
This signaled that Hyundai Motor was planning to use CATL batteries extensively in its EVs.
While Hyundai Motor has a battery joint venture with LG Energy Solution in Indonesia, its initial capacity will be 10GWh per year, barely enough to power EVs for local sales there.
SK On is also more focused on supplying batteries to Ford; Samsung SDI to Stellantis.