Zeng Yuqun, Elon Musk’s Friend in China
(Bloomberg Businessweek) -- Tesla, which sells more electric vehicles in China than any other company, makes one car there: the Model 3. And unlike in other countries, more and more of the cars in China are running on CATL’s lithium-ion phosphate batteries, which are cheap enough to let Tesla trim 10% off the price, a big step toward solidifying a hold on the mass market.
Zeng, who has a doctorate in physics, has known Tesla Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Elon Musk for some time; in an interview with Bloomberg News this year, Zeng said they text about technology, Covid-19, and Musk’s main interest: cheaper batteries and cars. “He’s a fun guy,” Zeng said. Batteries are Zeng’s obsession, too. His glass and steel headquarters in southeastern China is even built to resemble one, and batteries have made him an estimated $21 billion fortune. They could make him more money yet. Both companies are opening plants in Germany, though neither side is saying that they’re working together. —John Liu and Chunying Zhang
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