Leading Chinese battery firm Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL) is in the final stages of vetting sites for a planned EV battery production facility in the United States, according to two sources quoted by Reuters on Friday. In addition, CATL is in negotiations to open a factory for supplying products to BMW and Ford, while the potential location of the factory includes South Carolina and Kentucky. CATL declined to comment on the matter.
According to one of the sources, the goal of the potential plant in South Carolina is to start battery production in 2026, while BMW is already a customer of CATL.
This investment would mark the Chinese company’s first production in the US, the world’s second-largest car market.
Robin Zeng, chairman of CATL, said at an online briefing yesterday that due to the demand of localized production, the company is discussing with all main overseas customers regarding how to implement services.
Since 2018, CATL has experienced fierce competition with Korean companies for the designation of overseas customers’ projects. Its mass production and delivery began in 2021, which caused overseas customers to pay attention to CATL’s products, technologies, delivery and services. Robin Zeng said that overseas customers hope that the company will increase its supply ratio and become its main supplier from the next fixed cycle, that is, after 2026 or even from 2035.
On March 19, reports emerged that CATL was considering spending $5 billion to build a factory in North America, with a targeted annual production capacity of 80GWh to provide services for customers like Tesla.