Yet another one of Tesla’s battery suppliers seems to be planning on building a plant in North America. As per recent reports, China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd.(CATL) is considering two locations for a potential battery manufacturing facility in Mexico.
CATL is the world’s largest maker of electric vehicle batteries, with the company controlling over 30% of the global electric vehicle battery market. The company is already supplying Tesla’s Gigafactory Shanghai facility, providing the electric car maker with LFP batteries for the Model 3 and Model Y.
But inasmuch as CATL is currently leading in the EV battery race, it faces steep competition from rivals such as LG Energy Solution and Panasonic Holdings Corp. Both Panasonic and LG also supply batteries for Tesla.
Citing individuals reportedly familiar with the matter, Bloomberg noted that CATL is currently considering Ciudad Juarez, in the state of Chihuahua, and Saltillo, in Coahuila, Mexico as potential sites for its new battery plant. The publication’s sources also noted that CATL is contemplating an investment of about $5 billion in the project.
Ciudad Juarez would be an interesting choice for a CATL plant because it’s quite close to the San Jeronimo-Santa Teresa port of entry into New Mexico. This could provide CATL a route around the border crossings of Texas, which is home to Tesla and the company’s newest and largest facility to date, Gigafactory Texas.
Bloomberg’s sources also suggested that CATL is considering splitting its investment across two locations instead, one in the United States and another one in Mexico. A final decision is reportedly not yet made, and the total amount of the investment is fluid. However, previous reports have suggested that CATL may build an 80 GWh factory.
The competition in the EV battery market is getting steep. Just recently, Tesla battery supplier Panasonic decided to build a new battery plant in Kansas. The site is expected to produce 4680 cells for Tesla’s electric vehicles that would be produced at the Gigafactory Texas facility.
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