Auburn Hills’ Continental, Chinese Supplier to Develop Automotive Battery Systems


Continental, an Auburn Hills-based technology company, and CITC, a Chinese automotive supplier and battery manufacturer, are slated to establish a joint venture to develop and produce 48-volt battery systems for the automotive industry.

“Entering the 48-volt battery systems business is a strategically important step for Continental and one that will further strengthen our position as a system provider on the fast-growing mild hybrid market,” says Elmar Degenhart, CEO of Continental. “CITC (Sichuan Chengfei Integration Technology Co.) allows us access to the Chinese market, which is significant. It also has the potential to impose itself on the international competition and to become a global provider in the production of battery cells.”

The partners anticipate around 14 percent of all new vehicles worldwide will use the partnership’s mild hybrid system as early as 2025.

“Cooperating with Continental in the 48-volt battery systems business is a significant step for CITC’s strategy, which will enhance its position for high-power lithium ion batteries’ global market expansion,” says Xiaoqing Shi, board chairman and general manager of CITC. “Continental and CITC are engaging in providing energy-saving and carbon emission reduction battery system solutions to meet the demand of global consumers in energy-efficient vehicles.”

The joint venture plans to develop and produce a battery platform for all conventional 48-volt topologies and will integrate the components in the battery systems, carry out customer-specific development work, and integrate the systems in vehicles, in addition to assisting automotive manufacturers who purchase only individual components of the 48-volt system.

Continental will hold 60 percent of the shares, with CITC holding 40. The venture plans to operate globally and support customers in Europe, North America, and Asia. Operations are expected to begin in this summer with a slated headquarters set for Changzhou, near Shanghai.

Continental develops technologies for transporting people and their goods, and is an international automotive supplier, tire manufacturer, and industrial partner. It employs more than 233,000 people in 56 countries.

CITC was established in 2000 and is a high-tech share-holding company controlled by Aviation Industry Corporation of China. It is principally engaged in the development and manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries and power supply systems, and strives to develop the design, development, and manufacturing of the tools and dies business.

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