Chinese electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology Company (CATL) said it had raised CNY45bn (US$6.7bn), one of the world’s largest share issues of the year so far, to boost global expansion.

The new shares were keenly priced at CNY410 in a private placement to ensure a strong uptake among local investors. From a year to date low of CNY368, the share price rebounded sharpy in the last month to reach CNY549 today (24 June).

The company would use the funds for research and development and to expand EV battery production capacity and upgrade factories in China.

CATL, based in Ningde in China’s Fujian province, is stepping up efforts to maintain global leadership in the fast-growing global EV battery market. China has by far the largest EV market with sales exceeding 2.9 million units in 2021. Volume is forecast to surge to over five million units this year.

The company is facing increasingly strong competition, particularly from South Korean manufacturers such as LG Energy Solution, SK On and Samsung SDI, especially in overseas markets such as the US where they have invested heavily to establish strong partnerships with the local auto industry.

CATL also said it had developed a new EV battery, the Qilin, for which it claimed a range of over 1,000km (620 miles) on a single charge and fast-charging, safer and more durable than existing batteries. It has an energy density of 255 watt-hour per kg, making it 13% more powerful than Tesla’s new 4680 battery.

The company plans to begin production next year and will offer the Qilin to existing customer Tesla.