Tesla Battery Supplier CATL Seeking $5 Billion Plant in North America: Report

Tesla battery supplier, China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd., is apparently looking at sites in North America for a $5 billion factory, reports Bloomberg, citing unnamed sources.

The CATL battery factory is seeking to make “as much as 80 gigawatt-hours of batteries a year,” say sources and would create 10,000 jobs. Company executives from China visited Mexico in early March for meetings, while sites in Canada and the U.S. are also being considered, but labor and trade issues with the latter are concerns.

As the world’s biggest producer of batteries for electric vehicles, CATL has roughly 30% share of the world’s battery market. A factory in North America would allow the company to avoid tariffs.

CATL currently supplies lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries for Tesla at its Gigafactory in Shanghai.

But for the proposed North American CATL factory, Bloomberg says the plant would produce both LFP and nickel-manganese-cobalt cells, to supply Tesla and other automakers.

Another Tesla battery supplier, Japan’s Panasonic, is similarly looking for a site in North America, but in the U.S., to produce 4680 cells for Tesla.