A statement from Tesla on Wednesday recently indicated that the electric car maker has entered into a partnership with South Korean firm LG Chem and Chinese company CATL for Giga Shanghai’s battery supply. The battery deal allows the company to help secure the supply of cells that will be used for the Made-in-China Model 3 and Model Y crossover, both of which will be produced on site at Giga Shanghai.
In a statement to Reuters, Tesla noted that its partnership with LG Chem and CATL in China would be on a smaller scale than the company’s long-standing collaboration with Japanese battery firm Panasonic in the United States. Tesla and Panasonic have worked together since the automaker’s early days, supplying the 18650 cells of the Model S and Model X. Panasonic is also Tesla’s partner in Giga Nevada, the company’s own battery facility in the United States.
LG Chem, for its part, has declined to provide a comment to the publication. CATL, on the other hand, did not respond to Reuters when it was asked for a comment either. Tesla was reportedly not immediately available for a comment about the specifics of its partnership with LG Chem and CATL.
This is not the first time that news about Tesla’s partnership with LG Chem and CATL has emerged. Last August, a Bloomberg report noted that Tesla was tapping LG Chem as a battery cell supplier for Giga Shanghai. The South Korean company will reportedly be supplying Tesla with 2170 cells that will be used for the MIC Model 3, and later, the Made-in-China Model Y. The batteries will reportedly be produced at LG Chem’s Nanjing facility as well, which is just about 200 miles away from Shanghai.
Rumors of Tesla’s battery partnership with CATL have also been around for some time. Back in November, reports emerged stating that the electric car maker and the battery supplier have reached a preliminary agreement for Giga Shanghai’s operations. The initial contract was reportedly reached following Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s trip to Shanghai in August 2019, when he met with CATL Chairman Zeng Yuqun.
A partnership with LG Chem and CATL bodes well for Tesla and its efforts to push into the local Chinese market. With local suppliers secured, Tesla will be able to tap into a steady stream of cells for the production of the Model 3 and Model Y. This should allow Tesla to ramp the production of its two high-volume vehicles without much difficulties.