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CATL: Smooth Progress in Joint Factory Construction Plan with Ford in the US

In July this year, there was news that CATL (Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Ltd.) and Ford’s battery cooperation project faced an investigation in the United States. On September 26th, Detroit News reported that Ford plans to suspend the construction of a $3.5 billion battery factory.

Regarding the rumors of Ford’s termination of its plan to build a factory with CATL in the United States, a staff member from CATL’s securities department responded, “It is false news. Our progress is going smoothly.”

In the past few years, LFP batteries were rarely used in electric vehicles outside of China, but this situation is starting to change. Currently, some Tesla electric vehicles are already using LFP batteries, and Ford has obtained the supply of LFP batteries from CATL for models like the Mustang Mach-E.

In February of this year, CATL and Ford announced the establishment of a partnership. Both parties will jointly build a battery factory in Michigan, USA, with the aim of producing new lithium iron phosphate batteries. CATL will license its battery patent technology.

According to public information, the factory named Blue Oval Battery Park Michigan is located in Marshall City, Michigan. It is planned to start operation in 2026 with an annual production capacity of 35 GWh, which can supply enough power for 400,000 electric vehicles. The estimated cost is around $3.5 billion.

A Ford spokesperson told the Detroit News, “We have suspended (related) work and will restrict construction spending in Marshall until we are confident in our competitiveness to operate this plant.” He also added that a final decision has not been made yet.

In addition, Ford also has three battery plants under construction in North America. These are joint ventures with SK Innovation, with two located in Kentucky and the third one in Tennessee.

In 2022, the US Congress passed a $430 billion inflation reduction bill, which includes provisions stating that if any components of electric vehicle batteries are manufactured or assembled by foreign-related entities, the bill will prohibit tax credits for electric vehicles in the future. As a result, Ford had to invest $3.5 billion to invite CATL to produce batteries in the United States.

According to the introduction, the factory plans to invest $3.5 billion, and is expected to start production in 2026, creating at least 2500 job positions in the United States. In May, Ford stated that it is estimated that the factory’s annual output will reach approximately 42GWh after full production.

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