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CATL in Talks With Tesla on Battery Tech Licence in US: WSJ

Chinese EV battery-maker is in talks with Tesla and other automakers to licence its battery technology in the United States, new report says

The logo of CATL (Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd) is seen at the Auto Shanghai Show in this file image by Reuters.


CATL, the Chinese battery-maker for electric vehicles (EVs), is allegedly in talks with Tesla and other automakers to licence its battery technology in the United States.

The news, reported by the Wall Street Journal on Monday, said that CATL was looking to pursue that option instead of trying to build its own plant in the US.

The scale of cooperation and details about what technology Tesla would licence from CATL are still being discussed and would depend on the EV maker’s cashflow, the report said, citing an interview with CATL chairman Robin Zeng.


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The Chinese company’s existing partnership with Ford Motor will be the model for similar cooperation with other US carmakers, the report added.

Ford said in November it would scale back the investment for its Michigan battery plant to produce low-cost lithium-iron batteries based on technology licensed by CATL following pushback from US lawmakers.

The WSJ report on CATL comes amid a global slowdown in EV demand and as US lawmakers tighten their grip over the battery industry to prevent China-produced minerals or Chinese battery companies from winning electric vehicle tax credits.

Ford, CATL and Tesla did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

CATL is also working on faster charging batteries for Tesla and supplying machinery to the Elon Musk-led company’s factory in Nevada, the group’s chairman said recently.

Zeng had told reporters earlier this month that the company was in discussions to set up research and development centres in Hong Kong to create new technologies that can be licensed abroad as domestic EV demand weakens.


  • Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard


NOTE: The headline on this report was amended on March 26, 2024.




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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years.


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