Latest reports suggest that Apple Inc is currently in early talks with Chinese companies CATL and BYD about electric vehicle batteries. According to the Reuters report, the discussions are subject to change and it is not clear if agreements with either CATL or BYD will be reached. Apple has made building manufacturing facilities in the US a condition for potential battery suppliers. CATL, which supplies major carmakers including Tesla Inc, is reluctant to build a US factory due to political tensions between Washington and Beijing as well as cost concerns, the report added.
It was not immediately clear if Apple is also talking to other battery makers. Apple, which has yet to make a public announcement about its car plans, declined to comment. CATL, the world’s biggest automotive battery maker, and BYD, the world’s No. 4, also declined to comment.
The US firm is in favour of using lithium-iron-phosphate batteries that are cheaper to produce because they use iron instead of nickel and cobalt which are more expensive. Apple has been working on self-driving technology and has targeted 2024 for the production of a passenger vehicle, Reuters reported in December.
People familiar with the matter have previously said Apple’s planned EV could include its own breakthrough battery technology. It was not immediately clear if the discussions with CATL and BYD involved Apple’s own technology or designs.
The discussions come at a time when the US government is looking to attract more EV manufacturing. US President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.7 trillion infrastructure plan includes a $174 billion budget to boost the domestic EV market with tax credits and grants for battery manufacturers, among other incentives.