CATL: Global battery supremacy
Case Study

CATL: Global battery supremacy

8 pages
February 2022
Reference: IMD-7-2302

Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (CATL) was founded in 1999 under the name ATL. Initially, it had no technology of its own, and the founder, Zeng Yuqun, traveled to the US and acquired a patent for a lithium-ion polymer (LiPo) battery from Bell Laboratories. Then, through a series of technological breakthroughs that came one after the other, CATL became the supplier of Apple, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Tesla. On 29 July 2021, CATL unveiled its first generation of sodium-ion batteries, an important pivot away from lithium-based batteries. In addition to sodium-ion batteries, for many years CATL has been deeply involved in researching and developing solid-state batteries, which are deemed to be the most promising technology to improve energy density significantly.
Through continuous technology innovation, CATL enjoyed a market value of roughly $203 billion by July 2021. This, according to The Economist, was greater than the combined value of lg Chem, Panasonic and BYD the world’s second-, third- and fourth-largest battery producers.

Learning Objective
  • In a field where technology is king, the primary success factor must be continuous technological innovation and breakthroughs
  • Win over your benchmark customer first
  • Government support is essential for technology innovation
Keywords
Strategy, Innovation, Electric Vehicle, Technology, Battery Technology, Technology Management
Settings
China
CATL, Automobiles, Electric Vehicles
1999-2021
Type
Published Sources
Copyright
© IMD 2022
Language
English
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