CATL still pressing ahead with US battery plans – report

Despite previous media reports claiming otherwise, Reuters, citing “a person with knowledge of the matter,” said China’s CATL is pushing ahead with plans to supply cheaper lithium-iron batteries to Ford and plans for battery production in North America. America by 2026.

Bloomberg News had reported Tuesday that CATL was delaying a decision on a North American plant after US house speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, saying an announcement could still come in September or October.

According to Reuters, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that before Pelosi’s visit, which China saw as a provocation, CATL planned to announce its North American investment plans this month.

Reuters said it could not independently confirm whether CATL had delayed an announcement of its highly anticipated investment in North America, an expansion previously hampered by tensions between the US and China.

CATL did not immediately respond to the news agency’s request for comment.

The source told Reuters that CATL had not changed its plan to start local battery production for North America from 2026.

The expansion is expected to bring EV batteries to Ford, BMW and possibly other automakers, including Tesla.

In May, Reuters had reported that CATL was in the final stages of evaluating sites in South Carolina and Kentucky for battery production.

CATL had considered building a factory in Mexico that could transport cells for mounting in battery packs at facilities in the US, the Reuters source said. Grants and cost-sharing arrangements with automakers for those factories were still being negotiated, the person said.

Reuters noted that Ford announced last month that it would use imported lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries from CATL for its North American electric pickup trucks and SUVs.

Ford said it expects to obtain LFP batteries from a new 40 GWh plant to be built in North America from 2026.

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