Rumors of CATL’s intention to build an EV traction battery plant in the US have long been raging, and they were reinforced by the company’s announcement that it would build its first plant outside of China, which will be based in Germany. Now we are talking about choosing two locations in the United States at once for CATL companies to locate.
CATL management admitted this week that it is studying the possibility of building traction battery plants for foreign automakers in other countries, but did not say whether such companies will also be built outside Germany. The company only started mass-producing batteries for export from China in 2021, but by 2026 CATL expects to achieve a prominent position as a supplier of batteries to foreign automakers. Furthermore, the Chinese manufacturer expects to triple the volume of battery production by the middle of the decade, and expanding in the international market would help it a lot.
Corresponding Reuters According to informed sources, possible locations for the construction of CATL are locations in Southern California, in the immediate vicinity of the BMW company there, as well as in the state of Kentucky, where the Chinese manufacturer has owned land since 2020. The company in the United States. It is believed that the second potential customer of CATL in the United States will be Ford Motor, which will start production of traction batteries in Kentucky at the same time as the participation of Korean SK On. Both automakers declined to comment on potential plans to work with CATL.
The company itself is also in no hurry to explain in what time frame it will implement these projects and whether interested automakers will participate in the financing. The Biden administration intends to allocate $3 billion in subsidies for the development of electric vehicle infrastructure in the United States, but it’s still difficult to predict whether Chinese companies can qualify for the funds. By the end of the decade, the country’s authorities want electric vehicles to account for 50% of the new vehicle market in the United States.
The CATL plant in Germany, which can produce batteries with a total capacity of up to 8 GWh per year, will start operating in the country later this year and will require up to 1.8 billion euros in investment from Chinese manufacturers. In the US, one way or another, almost all major traction battery manufacturers will start production, including LG Energy Solution, SK On, Panasonic and Samsung SDI. The company, which occupies a third of the global CATL market, mainly due to its Chinese domestic market, is also interested in having a presence in two major electric vehicle sales regions, namely Europe and the US.