BYD and CATL to supply batteries to Audi’s China-made models

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FAW-Audi will produce three EVs in China, the Audi Q6L e-tron, Q6L Sportback e-tron, and A6L e-tron equipped with BYD’s LFP and CATL ternary NMC batteries, local media reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

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The L in the name of Audi vehicles means those are China-only versions with longer wheelbase. FAW-Audi is Audi’s Chinese joint venture with state-owned automotive behemoth First Automobile Works. Audi and VW hold 60% stake in the project while FAW has 40%

FAW-Audi JV is building a massive EV-only plant in northeast China in Changchun, Jilin province, which cost 2.6 billion euros (20 billion yuan). It will have an annual capacity of 150,000 cars, 2.46 million square meters, and the competition is scheduled for December 2024. It will produce Audi’s Evs based on Premium Platform Electric (PPE), jointly developed with Porsche.

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This is the first time we learned that BYD or CATL’s batteries will make it to the PPE. BYD’s LFP batteries have lower energy density and are generally cheaper, so we expect them in the entry-level models. CATL’s ternary NMC batteries are more expensive and have higher energy density; thus, expect them in top-trim models.

The first EV to roll off the production line of the Changchun plant will be the Audi Q6L e-tron.

Editor’s comment

Audi’s China strategy could be summed up as If you can’t fight them, buy them. They took the path of intense localization of its supply chain in the Chinese market. In July, SAIC confirmed a partnership with Audi to provide them with their EV platform. The iO Origin architecture from SAIC’s EV brand, IM Motors, will underpin some Audi vehicles. It is interesting to watch how Audi is not putting all eggs into one basket and will try its luck on the Chinese market with its own PPE and IM’s iO Origin platforms.

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