It appears that Tesla is considering Chinese battery components manufacturer Sunrise New Energy as a potential supplier, according to a new report.
Sunrise New Energy said on Wednesday that Tesla has expressed interest in the manufacturer’s battery component products, as reported by Reuters. The company says that Tesla’s battery raw materials department had been in contact requesting details on its technology, upcoming manufacturing plans, and overall production capacity.
The company’s joint venture, Sunrise New Energy Material Co. Ltd., produces graphite anode material used in lithium-ion batteries, which are the batteries used in electric vehicles (EVs). The company’s joint venture is also in the process of building a 260,543-square-meter production facility located in the Chinese province of Guizhou.
Sunrise added on Wednesday that it has submitted applications for two separate patents related to its hard carbon composite materials, which would potentially add two new patents to the 25 it already holds.
Tesla also has ongoing lithium supply deals with other companies, such as Australia’s Liontown Resources and Core Lithium.
The news also comes just a week after it was reported that Tesla lithium supplier Albemarle is expected to take over Liontown for $4.3 billion as soon as mid-2024. Last month, a report showed that Tesla may have threatened Core Lithium with a lawsuit, alleging that the company failed to execute on its supply agreements with the automaker.
The automaker also has a number of other mineral suppliers, and earlier this year, Tesla was reportedly considering the purchase of Brazilian lithium company Sigma Lithium — one of South America’s largest lithium extractors.
Tesla is also building its own lithium refinery plant near Corpus Christi, Texas, after holding a groundbreaking event for the facility in May. The site is expected to process raw lithium and other materials into battery-grade lithium for its EV batteries. In recent months, Tesla proposed donating as much as $3.8 million to help improve roads near the upcoming plant.