You can be both a cell and battery manufacturer and also provide the platform supporting the entire system. This is what the Chinese CATL (Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited), one of the world leaders in batteries.
He revealed the “CATL Integrated Intelligent Chassis” (CIIC), a chassis or “skateboard” in English where the battery, the electric motor(s) are integrated, but also the power supply modules, the braking and steering systems. The particularity of this structure is that it is adjustable in length, thus making it possible to place the battery packs where one wants.It is very similar to the Renault Morphoz concept car capable of lengthening from 4.40 to 4.80 m, while the wheelbase varied from 2.73 m to 2.93 m In the extended version, the concept car was able to carry an additional 50 kWh battery pack, giving a total capacity of 90 kWh.
VinFast, CIIC’s first customer
This new chassis seems to have seduced VinFast, one of the star exhibitors at the last Mondial de Paris, in October. The Vietnamese car manufacturer has just signed a memorandum of understanding with CATL covering the supply of battery packs, but also the use in the future of this “CATL Integrated Intelligent Chassis“.
On the other hand, we do not know the date on which CATL will provide its famous chassis. The Chinese news site sina claims that CATL began construction of a dedicated factory last February and that a patent for the CIIC was filed as late as October 2022.
The fact that a player such as CATL engages in the production of chassis integrating all of the motorization of an electric vehicle is not to be taken lightly. This is likely to upset the automotive market, especially on the side of equipment manufacturers. One could quite imagine that a lambda brand, not necessarily a car manufacturer, comes to buy a chassis off the shelf with the only constraint of dressing it with a bodywork. No need for a dealer network, the Web will be more than enough to place an order.