Joint Venture Conti Enters Into 48-Volt Battery Production
Continental and the Chinese automotive supplier CITC established a joint venture for the production of 48-volt battery systems. The joint venture is to start operations in mid-2018 and will operate worldwide from its headquarters in China.
The technology company Continental and the automotive supplier and battery cell manufacturer CITC (Sichuan Chengfei Integration Technology) established a joint venture for the development and production of 48-volt battery systems. Conti holds 60 % of the joint venture, the remainder of the shares is held by CITC. In this way, Conti intends to offer a complete electric drive system from a single source in the fast-growing 48-volt mild hybrid market. In the field of high-voltage battery systems, Continental announced that it is still considering the production of solid-state battery cells, which experts regard as the decisive technology for mass production of electric cars in the medium term.
On March 7, 2018, the two partners signed the agreement to establish the joint venture in Shanghai. The company will operate globally and supply customers in Europe and North America, as well as China and other Asian markets. The planned location of the headquarter is Changzhou, close to Shanghai, with operations scheduled to start in mid-2018. The aim is to establish the joint venture as one of the leading suppliers in the global market for 48-volt battery systems.
Battery Platform for All Conventional 48-Volt Topologies
According to Conti, the new joint venture will develop and produce a battery platform for all conventional 48-volt topologies up to 25 kW. Calb will supply the battery cells and Continental contributes the battery management system including the basic software. The JV will integrate the components in the battery systems, carry out customer-specific development, and integrate the systems in vehicles. The joint venture will also support carmakers who purchases only individual components of the 48-volt system, such as the battery cells or the battery management system.
CITC is part of the Chinese Avic group and, through its subsidiary Calb (China Aviation Lithium Battery Co., Ltd.), has expertise in the development and production of lithium-ion cells. Through the joint venture, Continental will be able to offer its 48-volt mild hybrid system from a single source. This system has been launched in early 2017. The "people’s hybrid" developed by Continental is planned to enable a significant reduction in CO2 and pollutants in diesel and gasoline engines at relatively low costs. The joint venture partners expect that as early as 2025, around 14 % of all new vehicles worldwide will be equipped with this mild hybrid system.
This article was first published by Automobil Industrie.