Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) [300750:CH], the world’s largest electric vehicle (EV) batteries maker, is expanding its business to include the development of perovskite solar cells (PSC), as reported by Bloomberg on May 26. PSC is regarded as one of the most promising methods to improve the performance of solar panels. CATL disclosed that it is building a pilot test line for the battery, but no details on timelines or capacity have been provided. The news was released one day after CATL reached an agreement with JA Solar Technology [002459:CH], China’s fourth-largest solar module maker, to collaborate on scientific innovations, marketing, and storage.
By venturing into battery storage and solar panel development, CATL aims to tap into the growing demand in these sectors, following the lead of other major battery producers such as Tesla [TSLA:US] and BYD [1211:HK]. BYD, China’s largest EV maker, has already deployed its energy storage systems in over 20 countries, with a cumulative installed capacity of 5 gigawatt-hours (GWh). In comparison, Tesla added 3.9 GWh of battery storage in the first quarter of 2023, representing a 360% year-over-year (YoY) increas. During the same period, Tesla also deployed 67 megawatts (MW) of solar, marking a 40% YoY rise. Moreover, in April 2023, Tesla announced a plan to build a large new battery plant in Shanghai dedicated to the production of Megapack, a grid-scale energy storage product. As the world transitions to clean energy, BloombergNEF anticipated the global solar capacity additions to increase by over a third to reach 344GW this year.