Welcome to Thomas Insights — every day, we publish the latest news and analysis to keep our readers up to date on what’s happening in industry. Sign up here to get the day’s top stories delivered straight to your inbox.
Apple is talking with at least two Chinese automotive battery giants about potentially providing the batteries for its long-planned Apple Car.
And it could mean more electric vehicle battery manufacturing heading to the U.S.
Reuters reports that the iPhone maker has talked with CATL and BYD — the world’s no. 1 and no. 4 battery makers, respectively — about serving as battery suppliers for its new vehicle, set to come out in 2024 after what will have been a decade of research and development.
CATL already produces batteries for many established automakers — Tesla among them — while BYD, a major EV maker in its own right, plans to soon begin selling its batteries to other auto companies.
Apple, however, has reportedly made domestic manufacturing a prerequisite for its potential vehicle battery suppliers, which means that if either company decides to partner with Apple, it could establish a new U.S. battery factory.
Talks are in their very early stages, but if recent announcements from rival battery makers are any indication, a new factory could mean hundreds or even thousands of jobs.
Many hurdles, however, must be cleared in order for any partnership to be reached. For one thing, it wasn’t clear how Apple’s proprietary battery technology might be involved.
More importantly, the timing could be tricky amid rising economic tensions between Washington and Beijing. CATL, according to Reuters, is reportedly wary of both the politics and the costs of establishing a new factory in the U.S.
Image Credit: Thomas Industry Update