The Chinese battery cell manufacturer Gotion High-Tech has signed an off-take agreement with Great Wall Motor. Gotion will supply Great Wall with battery cells with a total capacity of at least ten GWh between 2022 and 2025. There are also rumours of another supply agreement with Nio – for their 150 kWh battery.
However, the agreement was not with Great Wall Motor or any of the group’s car brands, but with its auto parts trading division, which was established in 2018. This division achieved sales of the equivalent of 3.4 billion euros in the first half of 2021, with an operating profit of 140 million euros.
It is expected to deliver at least 2.5 GWh as early as next year. In the announcement, both parties underlined, according to Chinese media reports, to call off and deliver the agreed annual minimum quantity and beyond. So it could even be more than ten GWh – but how much is not hinted at.
What cell chemistry will be supplied to GWM is also not clear from the reports. Gotion High-Tech, often referred to as Guoxuan, has long focused primarily on LFP cells. Since Volkswagen’s entry in 2020, it has not only stepped up production efforts, but also the development of other lithium-ion technologies. In mid-November, it was announced that Gotion had started series production of cells with a high nickel content, which are expected to achieve an energy density of 302 Wh/kg at cell level.
In addition to the deal with Great Wall’s parts subsidiary, there are rumours in China that Gotion High-Tech will be the cell supplier for Nio’s announced 150 kWh pack. Nio CEO William Li had announced a correspondingly large battery in November 2020.
Gotion CEO Li Zhen reportedly said at the New Energy Vehicle Industry Development Forum that Gotion will “supply a local manufacturer of high-quality pure electric vehicles with a semi-solid-state battery” that will enable a range of 1,000 kilometres. He did not name a company, however.
From the previous information on the Nio ET7 – Nio CEO William Li had also spoken of semi-solid-state batteries after the 2020 announcement – the CN EV Post concludes that the customer is Nio. It also fits the picture that Li of Gotion High-Tech reportedly spoke somewhat cryptically about the new battery more than doubling the range of the first-generation model for customers. That would apply to the first Nio ES8 with 450 kilometres NEDC range from a 75-kWh pack.
As further evidence, the CN EV Post cites that Nio, with its premium aspirations, would probably not choose “an obscure supplier” for its top battery pack. And of China’s biggest battery makers, only Gotion has talked about semi-solid-state batteries so far, it says. The company came in at 5.2 per cent market share in China in October, well behind CATL (49.9 per cent) and BYD (20.4 per cent) – but ahead of CALB (5.0 per cent), Tafel New Energy (3.1 per cent), Eve Energy (2.8 per cent) or SVOLT (2.3 per cent).