Chinese battery giant CATL signed an agreement on December 20 to deepen strategic cooperation with Avatr, an electric vehicle firm headquartered in Chongqing. Based on advanced battery technology, the two sides aim to develop a leading battery supply system for the industry and help Avatr build a series of high-end intelligent EVs.
On the same day, the company’s first car models, the Avatr 11 and the limited edition Avatr 011, rolled off the production line at its Chongqing plant, and the first batch of deliveries will start at the end of this month.
Avatr 11 is built on the “CHN platform,” while the whole series comes standard with the Huawei Inside (HI) smart car solution, CATL’s ternary lithium batteries and the Huawei DriveOne dual-motor four-wheel drive system. The models have an intelligent cockpit based on Huawei’s HarmonyOS and are equipped with the Huawei AOS intelligent driving operating system.
Avatr was first planned by Changan Automobile as a high-end new energy vehicle project in 2018. In 2021, CATL became its second major shareholder, and the project began to gain significant attention across the industry. Although Huawei does not invest in Avatr, as a strategic partner, it is deeply involved in the brand’s technological development.
Avatr has completed two rounds of financing so far, with a cumulative amount of nearly 5 billion yuan ($717.7 million) and a post-investment valuation of nearly 10 billion yuan.
With the rapid rise of BYD, CALB, Sunwoda and other battery enterprises, competition in China’s battery industry has stiffened. In recent years, CATL has continuously cooperated with car companies or strengthened cooperation with new energy car companies to broaden its moat.
On December 20, CATL also signed a joint venture project with Changan Automobile. The firm has established other joint ventures with Chinese car companies such as BAIC, SAIC, Geely and GAC Group to provide batteries. It has also reached cooperative relations with overseas vehicle companies such as Ford, Tesla and BMW.
In the first 10 months of this year, the installed battery capacity of CATL ranked first in the world. According to a report released by South Korean research firm SNE Research on December 2, the firm ranked first with a 35.3% market share, LG New Energy ranked second with 13.8%, and BYD ranked third with 13.2%.