CATL reportedly vetting sites for battery production in the US

Rebbeca Ren

posted on May 7, 2022 4:07 am

Chinese battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Co (CATL) is in the final stages of vetting sites in the US to build electric vehicle batteries, Reuters reported on Friday.

CATL is in talks to open plants that would serve BMW and Ford Motor, and potential sites include South Carolina and Kentucky, where those automakers have assembly plants, said the report.

As a leading electric vehicle battery manufacturer and the biggest supplier of Tesla, CATL has been working hard to expand production outside China in recent years to better serve global customers. It opened its first overseas factory in Germany in 2019 and was approved for expansion in April.

The company was exploring possibilities to localize production for overseas automakers in their countries, Chairman Zeng Yuqun said on Thursday.

He said CATL had begun mass production of batteries for overseas markets in 2021 and was looking to lock in its standing as the major battery supplier to automakers overseas "in the next round of supplier sourcing," which he said would begin from 2026.

The US has stepped up its support for green energy and the electric vehicle industry in the hope that they will lead to sustainable development. Favorable policies have been rolled out to meet the Biden administration's goal of having electric vehicles account for half of all vehicles sold in the US by 2030.

This week, the Biden administration said it will allocate more than $3 billion in infrastructure funding to finance EV manufacturing.

Other Asian companies that have announced plans to build U.S. battery plants include Korea's LG Energy Solution, SK Innovation and Samsung SDI. Japan's Panasonic Corp also is reportedly looking to purchase land for a plant to serve Tesla.