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Stellantis, CATL sign agreement over LFP batteries, explore joint venture

Image for representation purposes only. Source: Stellantis

Stellantis has signed a preliminary agreement with CATL to source battery cells and modules for its electric vehicles in Europe from the Chinese EV battery company. Under the agreement, CATL will supply lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries to Stellantis, which owns brands such as Jeep and Fiat. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said their agreement on LFP battery chemistry was "another ingredient" in the company's "long-term strategy to protect freedom of mobility for the European middle class".

"CATL is the industry leader in this sector and together with our iconic vehicle brands, we will bring innovative and accessible battery technology to our customers while helping us achieve our carbon net zero ambition by 2038," Tavares added.

LFP batteries feature a long service life and high thermal stability, and Stellantis said the technology would enable the company to offer "high-quality, durable, and affordable" EVs in the B and C segments of the automotive markets. It plans to deploy the batteries across passenger car, crossover and SUV models. In September this year, the company opened its first EV battery technology center in Italy, a €40 million operation to enhance its capabilities to design, develop and test battery packs and high-voltage cells. 

Stellantis and CATL companies also said they had signed a memorandum of understanding that outlined long-term collaboration between both firms, including "identifying opportunities to further strengthen the battery value chain". 

CATL Chairman and General Manager Robin Zeng said in a statement: "We believe the partnership will be a decisive step on both parties' journey towards carbon neutrality goals."

In a joint statement, the two companies also said they were considering a possible investment to set up a 50:50 joint venture to support Stellantis' electrification strategy. 

Stellantis won't be relying on CATL alone. The company is also part of a three-way venture with rival carmaker Mercedes and oil giant TotalEnergies called ACC which is building three giga factories in Europe (one each the respective partners' home countries of Italy, Germany and France). Separately, it is also building two giga factories in the US with Samsung

Stellantis was formed by the 2021 merger of two multinational carmakers: Italian-American Fiat Chrysler and France-based PSA Peaugot-Citroen. The company is the world's fourth-largest automaker by sales, trailing only Toyota, Volkswagen Group and Hyundai Motor Group. 

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