The Tesla supplier CATL is examining the battery exchange business abroad

CATL is the world’s largest manufacturer of batteries for electric vehicles and supplier to companies such as Tesla and Ford.

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CATL, the world’s largest battery maker for electric vehicles, is considering expanding its battery swap business into international markets, an executive told CNBC.

CATL, or Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited, is a supplier to companies like Tesla and Ford.

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In January, the Chinese battery maker launched its battery swapping business called EVOGO in 10 cities in China. The aim is to relieve electric cars of charging stations. Instead, drivers can rent battery packs from CATL and pack them in the car when their other battery dies. This only takes a few minutes.

Nio, an electric car start-up in China, also has a competing battery swap program. The company plans to expand that to building 1,000 battery swap stations outside of China by 2025, most of them in Europe, Nio co-founder Qin Lihong told Reuters this week.

Li Xiaoning, CATL’s executive president of overseas commercial application, told CNBC in an interview on Thursday that the company is also evaluating expanding its battery replacement product to Europe.

“I would say this will start in China this year. We will review EVOGO’s overseas presence step by step,” Li said.

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“We are beginning to evaluate potential collaborations with many partners. We need to understand the details in practice,” he added. “There are many things that we take into account. Product technology is one thing, another is the business case, regulation, local regulations and also other factors that we have to think about.”

If CATL expands its business overseas, it could help foreign automakers offer battery swapping services to customers without having to build the expensive infrastructure themselves.

CATL faces challenges including the rising cost of raw materials like lithium that goes into its batteries.

Still, the company managed to more than double earnings in the second quarter as demand for electric vehicles remains strong.