CATL scouts Mexico for EV battery plant to produce Tesla, Ford


Backed by China’s strategic push into electrical vehicles, CATL is using a growth in demand for EVs as international locations work to cut back carbon emissions and customers embrace cleaner automobiles. The corporate, which accomplished an preliminary public providing in 2018, controls greater than 30 p.c of the worldwide EV battery market.

CATL has been considering a battery plant within the U.S. for years, however rising geopolitical tensions between the U.S. and China have difficult the hassle. It’s additionally below aggressive strain to hurry a choice as rivals akin to LG Power Resolution, Samsung SDI Co. and Panasonic Holdings Corp. ink offers with automakers to construct battery crops within the U.S.

The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Settlement on commerce, negotiated below then President Donald Trump, additional difficult CATL’s plans by introducing increased wage necessities for mild automobiles to commerce duty-free, together with stricter content material guidelines. A CATL web site would assist Mexico, which has lengthy been a significant a part of the auto trade’s provide chain, cement its function within the area’s electrical car manufacturing.

CATL may decide to fabricate battery cells in Mexico after which ship them to Kentucky to be assembled into battery packs. In 2020, the Chinese language battery big bought a former RR Donnelley & Sons Co. printing plant in Glasgow, Kentucky, and fashioned a subsidiary within the state, paperwork present. In April 2021, it employed Charles Huang, a producing government, to be chief government officer of the venture, in response to his LinkedIn web page.

Huang’s LinkedIn web page says his mandate is to “set up company construction and technique for CATL manufacturing venture in North America.”

A spokesman for Kentucky’s financial improvement company declined to touch upon CATL’s plans within the state.

An expanded presence in North America may unsettle U.S. officers who’re eager on supporting home suppliers. President Joe Biden is allocating billions to domesticate the US battery provide chain and wean the auto trade off its reliance on China, however these efforts will take years to come back to fruition by way of American startups and partnerships with Korean and Japanese corporations.

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