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Apple’s talks with CATL, BYD on EV battery supply largely stalled, report says


More than four months after Apple was rumored to be negotiating battery supply deals with CATL and BYD for its planned electric vehicles (EVs), the latest rumors say the talks have largely stalled.

The iPhone maker’s talks with CATL and BYD to supply power cell supplies to its EVs have largely stalled because they have refused to build teams and factories in the US dedicated to catering to Apple, Reuters reported today, citing people familiar with the matter.

The companies informed Apple at some point in the past two months that they could not meet the request. But Apple has not given up hope of resuming talks with CATL or BYD, the report said.

Chinese battery makers are more advanced than competitors in the development of cheaper lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries, a battery technology that sources familiar with the matter previously said Apple preferred, according to the report.

CATL and BYD are the two power battery suppliers with the highest market share in China.

Data released earlier this month by the China Automotive Battery Innovation Alliance showed that CATL had 46.79 GWh of installed capacity in China from January to September, ranking first with a 50.8 percent market share.

BYD ranked second with 14.73 GWh of installed power batteries in China during the same period, with a 16 percent market share.

Reuters reported that CATL is reluctant to have a plant in the US due to political tensions between the US and China and cost concerns and that it has also found it difficult to find enough people to set up a dedicated product development team for Apple.

BYD has an LFP plant in Lancaster, California, but it has refused to build a new plant and team to focus exclusively on Apple, the report said.

That means Apple is already considering Japanese battery makers and sent a team to Japan this month, the report added.

In June, a Reuters report mentioned that Apple was in talks with CATL and BYD about supplying batteries for its planned EVs.

Apple requires potential battery suppliers to establish a production base in the US, the report said, adding that CATL was reluctant to build a plant in the US because of tensions between China and the US.

Apple favors the cheaper lithium iron phosphate batteries, the report said.

In April, local media outlet reported that CATL provided samples of ternary lithium batteries for Apple’s car project.

This article was first published by Phate Zhang on CnEVPost, a website focusing on new energy vehicle news from China.

CnEVPost is a website focused on the coverage of the new energy vehicle industry in China. As with our original intent for CnTechPost, there are a lot of interesting things happening in the Chinese EV industry every day, but they are not covered by the mainstream English language media. We're here to keep track of what's happening in the Chinese EV industry and strive to be the first to publish what we see in English.