Despite earlier media reports saying otherwise, Reuters, citing “a person with knowledge of the matter” said China’s CATL was pressing ahead with plans to deliver lower cost lithium iron batteries to Ford and with plans for battery production in North America by 2026.
Bloomberg News had reported on Tuesday CATL was delaying a decision on a North American plant after US house speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, saying an announcement could still come by September or October.
According to Reuters, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that, before Pelosi’s visit, which China saw as a provocation, CATL had been planning to announce its North American investment plans this month.
Reuters said it could not independently confirm whether CATL had delayed any announcement on its long-anticipated investment in North America, an expansion that had been previously complicated by tensions between the US and China.
CATL did not immediately respond to the news agency’s request for comment.
The source told Reuters CATL had not changed its plan to start local battery production for North America from 2026.
The expansion was expected to provide EV batteries for Ford, BMW and potentially other automakers, including Tesla.
In May, Reuters had reported CATL was in the final stage of evaluating sites, in South Carolina and Kentucky, for battery production.
CATL had been considering building a plant in Mexico that could ship cells for assembly into battery packs at facilities in the US, the Reuters source said. Subsidies and cost sharing arrangements with automakers for those plants were still being negotiated, the person said.
Reuters noted that, last month, Ford announced it would use imported lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries from CATL for its North American electric pickup trucks and SUVs.
Ford said it expected to be able to secure LFP batteries from a new 40 GWh factory to be built in North America from 2026.