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China’s CATL Seen Sticking to US Plan Despite Pelosi Trip

CATL had been in the final stage of choosing between sites in South Carolina and Kentucky for battery production before Pelosi’s controversial Taiwan trip


Chinese electric vehicle (EV) battery maker CATL is one of several major firms expected to dominate the sector in Europe in coming years.
CATL is one of several major Asian companies expected to play a key role supplying EV batteries to carmakers in Europe in coming years. Reuters file photo.

 

China battery giant CATL is thought to be still pressing ahead with plans to deliver lower-cost lithium iron batteries to Ford Motor Co and with plans for battery production in North America by 2026, a person with knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the world’s largest battery maker – Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Limited (CATL) – had been planning to announce its North American investment plans this month.

But that was before US House of Representative Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s controversial Taiwan visit, which China sees as a provocation.

 

Also on AF: China Hits Taiwan With Economic Sanctions as Pelosi Visits

 

Reuters could not independently confirm whether CATL had delayed any announcement on its long-anticipated investment in North America, an expansion that has been previously complicated by tensions between the United States and China.

CATL did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The person with knowledge of the company’s planning told Reuters CATL had not changed its plan to start local battery production for North America from 2026.

The expansion is expected to provide EV batteries for Ford, BMW and potentially other automakers, including Tesla.

In May, Reuters reported CATL was in the final stage of vetting sites including in South Carolina and Kentucky for battery production.

CATL has been considering building a plant in Mexico that could ship cells for assembly into battery packs at facilities in the United States, the person said. Subsidies and cost-sharing arrangements with automakers for those plants are still being negotiated, the person said.

Last month, Ford  announced that it would use imported lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries from CATL for its North American electric pickup trucks and SUVs.

Ford said it expected to be able to secure LFP batteries from a new 40 GWh factory to be built in North America from 2026.

 

  • Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara

 

Read more:

CATL Shares Plunge on Reports of $5bn Expansion in Mexico, US

China Battery Maker CATL Raises $6.7bn in Private Placement

Unit of Chinese Battery Maker CATL Wins Lithium Mine Rights

 

 

Sean O'Meara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.

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