Apple and Chinese manufacturers in talks for US car battery factory: sources

SHANGHAI / HONG KONG / WASHINGTON, Jun 8 (.) – Apple Inc. is in initial talks with Chinese companies CATL and BYD to supply batteries for the electric vehicles it plans to make, said four people with knowledge of the matter.

The talks are subject to change and it is unclear whether agreements will be reached with CATL or BYD, said the sources, who did not want to be identified because of the privacy of the approaches.

Apple has made it a condition for potential battery suppliers to build manufacturing facilities in the United States, two of the sources said.

A high-ranking official in the administration of President Joe Biden confirmed the condition on Tuesday.

“I understand that Apple is talking about building advanced battery factories here in the United States,” Jared Bernstein, an economic adviser to the White House, told ..

“That’s completely consistent with what the president has talked about in terms of offshoring of supply chains, particularly in areas where we could grab global market share,” he added.

CATL, which supplies major automakers including Tesla Inc, is reluctant to build a factory in the United States due to political tension between Washington and Beijing, as well as concerns about costs, the two people said.

It was not immediately clear if Apple is also talking to other battery makers.

Apple, which has yet to make a public announcement about its plans for the car, declined to comment. CATL, the world’s largest car battery maker, and BYD, the world’s fourth, did not respond either.

Apple is in favor of using lithium iron phosphate batteries, which are cheaper to produce because they use iron rather than nickel and cobalt, the four people said.

People familiar with the matter had previously said that Apple’s planned electric vehicle could include its own battery technology, but it was unclear whether the discussions with CATL and BYD included Apple’s own technology or designs.

(Report by Zhang Yan in Shanghai, Julie Zhu in Hong Kong and Heather Timmons in Washington; Edited in Spanish by Javier López de Lérida)

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