Commercial electric vehicle start-up ELMS signs battery supply agreement with CATL

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The companies are also exploring a setup in which CATL would have a US plant that would manufacture battery cells and ship them to the ELMS plant in Indiana for assembly into battery packs.



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CATL batteries power the small Class 1 delivery vehicle that ELMS started building last month

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US electric utility vehicle maker Electric Last Mile Solutions Inc (ELMS) announced Thursday that it has signed a battery supply agreement with Chinese company Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (CATL). Financial terms of the deal, which runs until 2025, were not disclosed. CATL’s batteries power the small Class 1 delivery vehicle that ELMS began building last month at its plant in Mishawaka, Indiana. The companies are also exploring a setup in which CATL would have a U.S. plant that would manufacture battery cells and ship them to the ELMS plant in Indiana for assembly into battery packs, an ELMS spokesperson said. “We have taken an important step in securing battery capacity in an extremely difficult supply environment,” Rob Song, deputy chief financial officer of ELMS, said in a statement.

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Battery makers are ramping up production to meet growing global demand as automakers accelerate the shift to electric vehicles to comply with stricter emission rules aimed at tackling climate change. CATL, which supplies many global automakers including Tesla Inc, Volkswagen AG and General Motors Co, has not announced where it will open a plant in the United States, but bought a plant in Glasgow, in the United States last year. Kentucky. In September 2020, Kentucky state officials offered incentives to CATL for a possible battery plant there.

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As part of the agreement with ELMS, CATL will supply lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries using simpler cell-to-package technology

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CATL, based in Ningde, China, which already has sales offices in the United States, previously declined to comment on plans for the U.S. market. President Joe Biden has made it a priority to support the deployment of electric vehicles to make the United States competitive with China.

As part of the agreement with ELMS, CATL will supply lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries using simpler cell-to-package technology. LFP chemistry is cheaper and safer than cobalt or nickel based cathodes in other batteries.

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In August, ELMS, based in Troy, Mich., Which went public in June through a reverse merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), said that despite the impacts of COVID-19 and industry-wide supply chain issues, it was on track to build 1,000 pickup trucks this year.

After the small van, which starts at $ 34,000 before federal tax credits, ELMS plans to build a larger Class 3 truck in the second half of 2022.

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