Robin Zeng is CEO of CATL, the sprawling electric battery company that makes parts for major clients including Bosch, Jaguar Land Rover, Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo.
The company has just signed a deal to build one of the largest EV battery plants in Europe, both in terms of size and production capacity — presumably as part of plans to feed BMW. CATL says the plant in Germany will enable the company to collaborate more closely with European partners and respond more quickly to help car manufacturers accelerate the roll-out of EVs.
The engineer — worth $5.9bn, according to Forbes — holds a PhD from the Institute of Physics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. His company has more than 24,000 employees around the world, and is headquartered in Zeng’s hometown, Ningde, Fujian Province.
Zeng has expressed serious concern at revelations that the Chinese government will end the generous subsidies that have helped keep the domestic electric vehicle industry afloat since 2012. Nikkei Asian Review quotes Zeng as asking employees,“Can pigs lifted by a typhoon really fly?”
As with all electric battery makers, CATL faces questions from some, including human rights watchdog Amnesty International, to clarify how the batteries are sourced and ensure there are no human rights abuses in the process.Tags: CATL, china, Electric vehicle