Vinfast on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding with CATL laying the foundation for use of the latter's cell-to-pack battery tech and skateboard chassis designs in future vehicles.
"By leveraging CATL's cutting-edge batteries, Vinfast's innovative EVs will reach new heights in terms of range, safety, and intelligent driving," CATL said in a press release. "The cooperation will also enable CATL to enhance its global footprint, especially in emerging markets, and promote the application of new EV technologies. "
CATL cell to pack battery tech sketch
The components currently being discussed include the CATL Integrated Intelligent Chassis (CIIC) skateboard which, like similar designs from other companies, incorporates the battery pack, motors, and all mechanical components into the chassis, allowing multiple body styles to be easily engineered for the same component set.
Vinfast could also make potential use of CATL's cell-to-pack tech, which builds a battery pack out of individual cells without the modules used in conventional pack designs.
CATL just revealed the new-generation version of its cell-to-pack tech last April, claiming an advantage over Tesla battery tech in power density. It also pointed to a "disruptive" water-cooling design for the pack—with an energy density of 255 wh/kg with current-tech lithium-ion cells and 160 wh/kg for LFP cells—delivering more than a 1,000-km range (621 miles).
While not mentioned in the release, CATL has also discussed other interesting tech recently.
CATL has been one of the innovators pushing sodium-ion cells toward production—potentially allowing an 80% charge in 15 minutes. And it's rolled out a battery-swapping solution for China, aimed at those without home charging, which might extend well for emerging markets.
Vinfast has planned its EVs around mandatory battery leasing—although it's currently offering them in the U.S. without that arrangement. The company plans to begin U.S. deliveries of its VF 8 and VF 9 before the end of the year. Cars will initially be sourced from Vinfast's home country of Vietnam, but the company plans to start building U.S.-market vehicles at a North Carolina factory in 2024.