Apple’s talks with CATL and BYD have stopped

Apple’s talks with CATL and BYD have stopped
Apple’s talks with CATL and BYD have stopped

Apple Inc’s talks with China’s CATL and BYD over battery supplies for its planned electric vehicle have mostly stalled after the companies refused to team up and build US plants that catered only to the tech giant’s needs, Reuters reported.

The companies told Apple that they were not able to meet their requirements. But the US company has not lost hope of resuming talks with CATL or BYD.

Chinese battery makers are more advanced than competitors in developing LFP batteries that are cheaper to produce, and Apple favors this battery technology.

CATL, the world’s number one electric car battery maker, has been reluctant to build a US plant due to political tensions between Washington and Beijing as well as cost concerns.

The Chinese company also found it impossible to set up a separate product development team working exclusively with Apple due to difficulties in finding enough employees.

BYD, which has a lithium iron phosphate battery plant in Lancaster, Calif., declined to build a new plant and team focused on supplying only the iPhone maker.

The stalled discussions mean that Apple is considering Japanese battery makers. It sent a group of people to Japan this month. Panasonic is one of the companies the US company is considering.

In a statement to Reuters, CATL said it denied the relevant information. “We are evaluating the opportunity and possibility of localizing manufacturing in North America,” the statement said, adding that it has a dedicated professional team exclusively for each client.

Sources told Reuters last year that Apple aims to launch an electric car by 2024. The company has not publicly disclosed its plans.

Read also: Apple continues development of the self-driving car project

Apple’s car project faces successive obstacles

The pause in discussions comes at a time The administration of US President Joe Biden wants to make the United States a powerhouse for electric vehicles. With a goal that electric cars will make up half of all new car sales by 2030.

Any delay in securing battery supplies could hamper the company’s electric vehicle development. Last month, it lost its car project chief, Doug Field, after he decided to return to Ford.

Moreover, Tesla said this week that it intends to use battery chemistry outside of China as well. The company makes some Model 3 and Model Y vehicles in China using LFP batteries from CATL.

CATL and BYD use some type of battery pack technology to improve the performance of LFP batteries. Without this, LFP batteries typically provide a much shorter driving range and lower energy density than more expensive lithium batteries that use cobalt and nickel.

Read also: Apple continues to expand the fleet of self-driving tests

 
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