CATL Is Looking For A Site to Build A Battery Facility!

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Podcast – CATL, a Tesla Supplier, is Considering Locations For a $5 Billion Battery Factory
  • CATL is contemplating locations in Mexico, the United States, and Canada.
  • The plant will have an annual capacity of 80 GWh and will supply several firms.

Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. (CATL), the world’s largest manufacturer of electric car batteries, is looking at locations throughout North America for a gigantic $5 billion factory to supply clients such as Tesla Inc.

According to persons familiar with the situation, the corporation plans to establish a facility capable of generating up to 80 gigawatt-hours of batteries each year. According to the persons who wanted not to be identified because they were revealing private information, the facility might potentially employ up to 10,000 people.

CATL executives traveled to Mexico earlier this month for talks, according to the sources. The firm is also looking for locations in the United States and Canada but is concerned about labor shortages and other trade challenges. CATL’s North American expansion, projected investment, and site inspection were all refused by a spokeswoman in China.

CATL is riding a surge in demand for electric vehicles, fueled by China’s strategic push into the market. Countries are working to decrease carbon emissions, and customers are embracing greener automobiles. The business, which completed an initial public offering in 2018, controls nearly a third of the worldwide electric vehicle battery industry.

A Picture Inside a CATL Factory
A Picture Inside a CATL Factory

CATL, located in Ningde, Fujian, will need a manufacturing presence in North America to avoid hefty trade taxes while supplying Tesla and other automakers. While investing substantially in research and development, the business has exploited its huge scale in China, which has the world’s biggest cell production and metal refining capacity, to cut prices for consumers throughout the world.

An increased presence in North America might agitate US politicians who want to encourage domestic suppliers. President Joe Biden is devoting billions to developing the United States’ battery supply chain and weaning the car sector off its dependency on China, but these initiatives will take years to bear fruit.

Global manufacturers including Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen AG are electrifying their vehicle ranges, resulting in a surge in battery demand.

Prices of metals like nickel, cobalt, and lithium have soared as a result of carmakers’ production plans, forcing Tesla to declare last October that it will transition to lithium iron phosphate batteries for short-range vehicles to alleviate cost concerns.

Lithium iron phosphate, or LFP, batteries are less expensive and more robust than the alternatives, but their range is frequently limited due to a lack of energy density – though this is improving rapidly. CATL controls the LFP battery industry, and Tesla’s Shanghai facility already employs CATL-supplied LFP cells.

According to two persons familiar with the situation, CATL’s planned North American factory will create a combination of nickel-manganese-cobalt and LFP cells and will supply Tesla and other automakers.

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, predicted in January that after the semiconductor problem has passed, battery availability would become a limiting factor. As it attempts to scale up sales and prepares to establish operations in Austin, Texas, and Berlin, Tesla is producing its own 4680 battery cells in Fremont, California, and expanding its supply chain beyond longstanding partner Panasonic.

Panasonic is also looking for a manufacturing location in the United States, some sources reported earlier this month. Tesla’s gigafactory in Reno, Nevada, is supplied by the corporation, which produces 4680 battery cells.

According to statistics, CATL has a battery production capacity of 145 GWh online and has declared or is in the process of creating another 579 by 2026. Stellantis, BMW, Daimler Truck, and BAIC Motor Corp are among the manufacturer’s clients across the world.

Automotive News | CATL exploring North American Locations?