Dec 02, 2022 07:51 PM

CATL Sets Up Subsidiary to Take Advantage of China’s Push to Electrify Ships

What’s new: Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. (CATL) has set up a subsidiary to develop batteries for ships, Caixin has learned, in a move that would allow it to capitalize on China’s push to electrify water-going craft.

The wholly owned subsidiary was set up on Nov. 26 with a registered capital of 100 million yuan ($14 million), according to corporate information portal Tianyancha. The scope of its business will also include marine engineering equipment development, industrial robot manufacturing, artificial intelligence software development and industrial internet data services.

Fujian province-based CATL started researching ship batteries in 2017, a person close to CATL told Caixin. It installed the first such vessel battery on a ship that began operating in the Three Gorges Reservoir, located on the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, in 2020.

What’s the background: CATL’s push into vessel battery production dovetails with a Chinese government effort to reduce the carbon dioxide emitted by ships as it aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.

In September, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued a document laying out how to turn river transportation into a green industry. To reach the goal, the ministry suggested using battery-powered short-haul cargo ships and sightseeing boats, and developing battery swapping technology for ships.

In April, the Fujian provincial government rolled out China’s first subsidies for ship battery manufacturers. Under the policy, a company can get a subsidy equivalent to 20% of the sale price of its electric propulsion system, with the subsidy capped at 2 million yuan.

Contact reporter Ding Yi ( and editor Michael Bellart (

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