Battery giant, CATL, has announced its ambitious plans to build 10,000 super-fast charging stations in 100 Chinese cities by the end of 2025. To do so CATL unveiled a strategic partnership with Star Charge, the second-largest charge point operator (CPO) in China. The pair will cooperate in the research and development of high-power charging systems, and the integration of charging and inspection technologies.

ATL’s first charging initiative to support its faster cell charging

CATL in recent months has made various announcements regarding new battery technology. In August 2023, it unveiled the ‘Shenxing’ battery, the world’s first 4C superfast charging LFP battery with a reported 700 km range. In March 2024, CATL also announced a cooperation agreement with Tesla to develop faster charging cells. This was followed in April 2024, with the release of the updated ‘Shenxing Plus’ battery, offering a range above 1,000km.

With these new developments, it makes sense for CATL to enter the fast-changing business and develop its own network. To roll out next-generation models, OEMs will need strong fast charging networks to continue to reduce range anxiety and fully unlock new product potential.

Star Charge: a new partnership to develop its fast-charging network

Within China, Star Charge holds 18% of the EV charging market, operating more than 450,000 charging points, however 65% of these are AC. This partnership will help the company further develop its fast-charging network.

Aside from its facility in Jiangsu, China, it also operates facilities in the US and Vietnam and has a global coverage of over 520,000 charge points. It plans to expand its global footprint and recently expressed its intention to list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Star Charge’s clients already include the likes of BYD, BMW and VW amongst others, so CATL will be another big name to add to the list. In November 2023, the company announced its new Arctic 4th generation liquid-cooled ultra-fast charger.

Rho’s Evaluation China’s EV charging ecosystem

China’s EV sales penetration in 2023 reached 32% and is expected to continue rising. The country has the lowest EV-to-public charger ratio anywhere in the world, with about 10 chargers per EV.  When comparing this to the likes of Germany or the US which have 20 and 25 EVs per charger respectively, it highlights China’s wide charging coverage. In addition to this China has an almost equal split of fast to slow chargers in the country, far more advanced than any country in Europe or North America. China has strong charging policies and incentives; hence its public charging network has been developing rapidly with the country’s charging industry leading the way and anticipating EV sales ramp-up in the coming years.

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Sources: CATL