Ford possibly working with China’s CATL on EV battery tech in Ontario

As Ford gears up to expand its electric vehicle (EV) strategy in Canada, the legacy automaker is reportedly in talks with China-based Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL) to supply batteries to its new plant in Oakville, Ontario.

These discussions haven’t been made public yet by CATL or Ford. That said, a source who spoke with The Logic said that Canadian officials are raising concerns about China becoming a significant EV battery supplier since it has a reputation for using its market power to advance its political mandates in the past.

In the tech space, this has been most recently evident in the ongoing Huawei scandal.

CATL is already the world’s largest power battery builder, but even U.S. officials and Ford’s American offices are also aware of the meetings. Part of the hesitancy also comes from wanting to wait and see the results of President Biden’s Build Back Better bill in the United States.

This bill could change things for EV manufacturers in the U.S. and the surrounding industries, including EV battery manufacturing. With this in mind, several major investments in the space in North America have been put on hold to see if the Build Back Better bill outcome leans in their favour, according to the Finacial Post (The Logic) report.

If the deal does go through, CATL likely won’t build a battery factory in Ontario or even Canada for that matter. Instead, it will supply batteries to Ford’s perspective EV plants in Oakville. Sources say that the talks are still early and not close to being finalized.

When Ford first announced it was retooling the Oakville plant it stated that it aimed to assemble a new battery pack design by 2025.

Ford’s Chinese division already uses batteries from CATL.

Source: Financial Post (The Logic)

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