Apple is in early-stage talks with China’s CATL and BYD to supply batteries for its planned electric vehicle. However, it’s not clear if agreements with either CATL or BYD will be finalized. Apple has built EV manufacturing facilities in the United States that the Chinese battery suppliers can explore, said close sources.
As per reports, CATL, which supplies significant carmakers, including Tesla, is reluctant to build a US factory due to political tensions between Washington DC and Beijing. Apple has yet to make a public announcement about its car plans. CATL, the world’s biggest automotive battery maker, and BYD also refused to comment on the matter.
Shares of BYD closed 6.5% higher in Shenzhen. CATL reversed its earlier losses to finish 0.5% higher. Apple favors lithium iron phosphate batteries that are cheaper to produce because they use iron instead of nickel and cobalt, which are more expensive, sources close to the development said.
Apple may produce passenger EV by 2024
For some time, Apple has been working on self-driving technology and has targeted 2024 to produce passenger EV, as reported by Reuters in December. Those familiar with the matter have previously said Apple could include its breakthrough battery technology for its EV. It was unclear if Apple’s discussions with CATL and BYD involved Apple’s own technology or designs.
The EV discussions happen at a time when the US government is attracting more EV manufacturing. President Biden’s proposed $1.7 trillion infrastructure plan to boost the domestic EV market includes a $174 billion budget with tax credits and grants for battery manufacturers, among other incentives.
Several battery makers are ramping up production to meet increasing worldwide demand as car makers accelerate to shift to electric vehicles to comply with stricter emission rules to tackle the global warming issue. Chinese battery makers are expected to grow rapidly over their foreign peers thanks to its status as the world’s biggest EV market, SNE Research had said in a June report.
CATL is planning a major new automotive battery plant in Shanghai, that will cement its lead as the world’s No. 1 supplier. The factory would be near Tesla’s China manufacturing operations.