The Chinese company Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. GmbH. (CATL), one of the world’s largest manufacturers of electric vehicle batteries, is about to build a major new facility and is considering various locations in North America. The company will supply batteries to various of the company’s customers, including Tesla. The project budget is estimated at US$5 billion.
According to the agency Bloomberg According to the company, the plant will employ at least 10,000 people and have an annual capacity of up to 80 GWh. Earlier this month, top executives from CATL visited Mexico, where they held meetings on the subject; The United States and Canada are also being considered, but in their case the company is concerned about labor availability and difficulties in doing business.
Due to the global trend of green transportation and the Chinese government program to promote the electric vehicle industry, the demand for CATL products is extremely high. The company, which completed its IPO in 2018, has now captured about 30% of the global traction battery market. The presence in North America will allow the Chinese manufacturer to significantly reduce tariffs when supplying products to Tesla and other customers. The large scale of the company’s operations and significant investments in research and development have allowed it to maintain low production costs and low prices for finished products.
On the other hand, the American expansion of CATL could pose a serious problem for US officials: Washington is investing heavily in the budget to get rid of Chinese dependence in the electric car industry, but the program will take years to implement. The vast majority of automakers are electrifying their products, creating high demand in the battery market, and the prices of nickel, cobalt and lithium used to make batteries are actively rising – partly because of this, Tesla announced last October transmit part of the line to LFP cells, which are cheaper and more stable but offer less range. Rivian recently followed suit.