Backed by China’s strategic push into electrical automobiles, CATL is driving a growth in demand for EVs as international locations work to cut back carbon emissions and customers embrace cleaner autos. The firm, which accomplished an preliminary public providing in 2018, controls greater than 30 % of the worldwide EV battery market.
CATL has been considering a battery plant within the U.S. for years, however rising geopolitical tensions between the U.S. and China have sophisticated the trouble. It’s additionally below aggressive strain to hurry a call as rivals corresponding to LG Energy Solution, Samsung SDI Co. and Panasonic Holdings Corp. ink offers with automakers to construct battery crops within the U.S.
The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement on commerce, negotiated below then President Donald Trump, additional sophisticated CATL’s plans by introducing greater wage necessities for gentle autos to commerce duty-free, together with stricter content material guidelines. A CATL website would assist Mexico, which has lengthy been a serious a part of the auto business’s provide chain, cement its position within the area’s electrical automobile manufacturing.
CATL might choose to fabricate battery cells in Mexico after which ship them to Kentucky to be assembled into battery packs. In 2020, the Chinese battery big bought a former RR Donnelley & Sons Co. printing plant in Glasgow, Kentucky, and shaped a subsidiary within the state, paperwork present. In April 2021, it employed Charles Huang, a producing government, to be chief government officer of the venture, in accordance with his LinkedIn web page.
Huang’s LinkedIn web page says his mandate is to “establish corporate structure and strategy for CATL manufacturing project in North America.”
A spokesman for Kentucky’s financial improvement company declined to touch upon CATL’s plans within the state.
An expanded presence in North America might unsettle U.S. officers who’re eager on supporting home suppliers. President Joe Biden is allocating billions to domesticate the US battery provide chain and wean the auto business off its reliance on China, however these efforts will take years to come back to fruition by way of American startups and partnerships with Korean and Japanese firms.