Ford, China’s CATL mull U.S. battery plant

The Treasury Department plans to issue guidance finalizing IRA content requirements and tax credits by the end of this month.

“still under consideration”

“CATL is still considering investing in the US and has not yet made a decision,” the battery maker said in an emailed statement. “Multiple models have been discussed for investing in the United States, and all those choices are based purely on business concerns.”

The company already has a deal to sell batteries to Ford for use in its flagship F-150 Lightning and Mustang Mach E vehicles, but it’s not “true” that the Chinese government opposes CATL’s investment in the United States. not,’ he said.

The Chinese embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment. He reached out to China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for comment, but so far has not received a response.

“Negotiations with CATL are continuing and we have nothing new to announce,” Ford said in a statement.

If Ford chooses Virginia or another location, it will be in another spotlight in its home state.Ford announced its first $11 billion investment with South Korea’s SK Innovation Co. in Tennessee. and chose to build a battery hub in Kentucky.

Securing enough batteries to build millions of plug-in models has become a key competitive battlefield in the emerging EV market. In addition to the joint venture between Ford and SK, general motors formed a partnership with South Korea’s LG Energy Solution Ltd. to build a battery factory in the United States.

In an interview with a bystander at a Ford tech event on Tuesday, Lisa Drake, Ford’s vice president of EV industrialization, said, “Owning the battery value chain is very important, no question. “That’s why we control raw materials such as nickel and lithium in-house.”

She declined to comment on the details of negotiations with CATL.

cost competitive

Bloomberg reported earlier this year that CATL, the world’s largest maker of electric vehicle batteries, was considering bases in Mexico and the United States to supply cells to automakers such as Ford and Tesla. But the IRA’s production tax credit could be worth as much as $35 per kilowatt-hour for each cell produced, according to a person familiar with the matter, making battery manufacturing in the U.S. cheaper than in Mexico. be. The subsidies also offset US tariffs on raw materials imported from China.

Ford announced a partnership with CATL in July to secure 70% of the battery capacity needed to build more than 2 million EVs annually from 2026.

During Ford’s third-quarter earnings call in October, Farley was asked about the status of the CATL partnership given tensions between the US and China. Farley said Ford could “economically” import lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries from China, but hinted at other options for localizing production.

“The real multi-billion dollar question is when do we localize LFP production in North America,” he said by phone. “Whose name is that on the front of the building?”

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