Biz / Auto

Joint venture to develop and produce battery systems for new energy vehicles formed

Germany's Continental and Sichuan Chengfei Integration Technology Co's joint venture will manufacture 48-volt battery system which is an important technology for NEVs.

German auto-parts supplier Continental and Chinese battery manufacturer Sichuan Chengfei Integration Technology Co agreed in Shanghai today to form a joint venture to develop and produce battery systems.

The joint venture, in which Continental holds 60 percent and Sichuan Chengfei Integration Technology Co (CITC) 40 percent, will develop and produce 48-volt battery systems whose battery cells will be provided by CITC’s subsidiary China Aviation Lithium Battery Co while Continental will manage the battery system.

Headquartered in Changzhou, Jiangsu Province, the joint venture expects to begin operations in mid-2018 and launch its first product in 2020. The joint venture will supply customers in Europe and North America, as well as China and other Asian markets.

The joint venture will integrate components in the battery systems, carry out customer-specific development work and integrate the battery systems in vehicles. It will also assist auto manufacturers who purchase individual components of the 48-volt battery which is an important technology for new energy vehicles.

“The joint venture will offer robust and competitive battery systems, which is based on Continental’s experience in system development and electronics and CITC’s know-how on battery cell,” said Arno Perner, vice president of Contintental's hybrid electric vehicle business unit's battery segment.

“Entering the 48-volt battery systems business is a strategically important step for Continental, and one that will further strengthen our position as a system provider in the fast-growing mild hybrid market. CITC allows us access to the extremely significant Chinese market," said Elmar Degenhart, CEO of Continental, adding that the Chinese partner has the potential to "become a global provider in the production of battery cells."

Shi Xiaoqing, board chairman and general manager of CITC, said that cooperating with Continental in the 48-volt battery systems business is a significant step for CITC’s strategy as that will help us expand globally.

48-volt technology is a mild hybrid technology offering higher voltage that allows a car’s electrical system to engage more with its functions, and promises higher savings in fuel use. Auto-parts suppliers like Bosch, Valeo, Delphi and Johnson Controls are all deploying this technology.

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