China’s efforts are also part of a broader plan to reduce air pollution, meet soaring domestic energy demands, establish the nation as a leader in fighting climate change, and exert the soft power that comes with global business dominance.
CATL shares rose by the maximum allowed in each of the first three days of trading, giving the Ningde-based company a value of more than $13 billion by the end of trading on June 13. That minted at least three new billionaires, including founder Zeng Yuqun. He effectively spun the business out of Amperex Technology, which makes batteries for consumer gadgets, in 2011. (The company didn’t respond to questions from MIT Technology Review before press time.)
Just seven years later, CATL has built up the biggest lithium-ion manufacturing facilities in the world, according to BNEF. The company can crank out around 17 gigawatt-hours of lithium-ion cells annually, placing it just ahead of Korea’s LG Chem, the Tesla and Panasonic partnership, and China’s electric-vehicle giant BYD.