36Kr reported on Friday that according to inside sources, Cai Jianyong, general manager of the intelligent vehicle control department under Huawei’s smart car solutions business unit (BU), has left the position to join domestic battery giant CATL, taking over its cell to chassis (CTC) integration business.
Cai is a veteran of Huawei’s smart car business, formerly serving as its CTO. With several organizational changes within the business unit, he was later transferred to administer of one of its 14 secondary departments.
According to the report, Cai Jianyong’s position change may be related to CTC technology being developed by CATL. In August 2020, CATL Chairman Robin Zeng publically stated that CTC technology will enable new energy vehicles to directly compete with fossil fuel vehicles in terms of cost, while also expanding available space within the vehicle.
CTC technology can be understood as putting battery cells directly into the chassis of the vehicle like building blocks, and taking the upper and lower plates of the chassis as the shell and cover plate of the battery cell, forming a closely combined structure. However, in the past, vehicle battery cells had to go through assembly steps such as modules and battery packs.
Cai Jianyong’s arrival is expected to help CATL accelerate the R&D of CTC technology. According to an open recruitment platform in China, CATL is vigorously recruiting talent from the field of chassis control system development, chassis adjustment and chassis electronic architecture.
In addition, CATL has been building factories and projects for CTC technology one after another. On February 19 this year, CATL launched an intelligent technology integrated electric chassis development project in Shanghai and an intelligent power system project (Phase II). Among them, the integrated electric chassis project has a high probability to accelerate the implementation of CTC technology.
On February 15, the vehicle company under New Gonow Holding Group reached a cooperation with a subsidiary of CATL, and CTC technology is one of the key projects in the cooperation. The new energy commercial vehicle platform provided by New Gonow may become the first experimental field of CTC technology for CATL.