EXCLUSIVE CATL Plans EV Battery Production in US, Field Investigation – Source


People walk past the R&D center of Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd (CATL) in Ningde, Fujian Province, China on December 16, 2016. REUTERS/Jake Spring/Files

May 6 (Reuters) – CATL (300750.SZ), the world’s largest battery maker, is in the final review phase for electric vehicle battery construction in the United States. Two people familiar with the plan, the second-largest auto market, told Reuters.

Contemporary Amperex Technology Co (CATL) is discussing opening a plant to serve BMW AG (BMWG.DE) and Ford Motor Co (FN), with potential locations including South Carolina and Kentucky, where the automaker has assembly plants It’s possible. The two have requested not to reveal their identities because the conversation is ongoing and private.

For a potential South Carolina plant, the target is to start producing batteries in 2026, one of the sources said. BMW is already a customer of CATL.

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CATL, whose customers are Tesla (TSLA.O) and Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE), declined to comment.

Chairman Zeng Yuqun said on Thursday that the company was exploring the possibility of localizing production for foreign automakers in the country. read more

He said CATL will begin mass production of batteries for overseas markets in 2021 and will solidify its position as a major battery supplier to foreign automakers in a “next supplier sourcing” that will begin in 2026.

The Ningde, Fujian-based company is increasing production and mineral procurement to meet growing EV demand. Consulting firm Wood Mackenzie says CATL plans to more than triple its cell manufacturing capacity by 2025.

In a statement, BMW said, “We are focusing on the possibility of establishing a battery plant in North America.” Regarding this, the company said, “We are discussing with several partners.”

Ford, who declined to comment, announced in September plans to build two battery plants jointly owned with SK in Glendale, Kentucky. Ford also has two vehicle assembly plants in Louisville, Kentucky. read more

CATL’s battery investment is considered because the US government is offering measures to encourage investment in electric vehicles, and other Asian battery makers are spurring the construction of US factories.

This week, President Joe Biden’s administration announced that it would allocate more than $3 billion in infrastructure funding to finance electric vehicle manufacturing. Biden wants half of all vehicles sold in the U.S. to be electric by 2030. read more

Other Asian companies that have announced plans to build a battery plant in the US include Korea’s LG Energy Solutions (051910.KS), SK Innovation (096770.KS), and Samsung SDI (006400.KS). Japan’s Panasonic (6752.T) is also known to be considering purchasing a factory site to supply Tesla. read more

BMW has an assembly plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina. CATL will open its first battery plant outside China in Arnstadt, Germany later this year to serve BMW and other automakers. CATL will invest 1.8 billion euros ($1.89 billion) in the plant, with an initial annual battery capacity of 8 GWh (gigawatt-hour) batteries, the company said.

Producer of the best-selling X3 and X5 sport utility vehicles and other models, BMW’s Spartanburg plant is one of Germany’s largest automakers and serves as a large export hub.

BMW CEO Oliver Zipse confirmed on Thursday the German automaker’s plans to achieve sales of 2 million fully electric vehicles by 2025 and make electric vehicles account for more than half of global shipments by 2030. He said the most important factor in the production of electric vehicles is the local car production capacity. producer.

In 2020, CATL purchased a facility in Glasgow, Kentucky, and documents from a June 2020 meeting with Kentucky economic development officials showed that the battery manufacturer was considering establishing a facility there.

Economic development officials in South Carolina and Kentucky declined to comment.

It wasn’t immediately clear what incentives the state’s government agency would offer for the investment, or whether the planned plant would have the automaker’s participation in some kind of joint venture.

Last month, CATL posted its first quarterly profit decline in two years due to soaring raw material prices and China’s suspension of COVID-19 controls. On Thursday it said it expected profit margins to improve in the second quarter as price hikes and easing raw material cost pressures. read more

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Reports by Zhang Yan of Shanghai, Christoph Steitz of Frankfurt, and Ben Klayman of Detroit; Additional reports by Christina Amann of Berlin and David Shepardson of Washington; Edited by Kim Coghill

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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