Batteries: Made in USA With Chinese Help

by | 14. Feb 2023 - 13:28 | Economy

Car manufacturer cooperates with CATL. Production of low-cost batteries without cobalt planned.

US carmaker Ford has announced the construction of the country’s first factory for lithium iron phosphate batteries (LFP). With these batteries, which do not require the use of cobalt and are therefore comparatively inexpensive, the company wants to help electromobility achieve a breakthrough in the USA. Ford also emphasizes that the batteries are very durable and can withstand more frequent and faster charging processes.

The expertise for manufacturing the components comes from the Chinese group Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL), of all places. As a reminder, the subsidies for green technologies passed last August as part of the Inflation Reduction Act are intended to reduce dependence on China in the medium term. In addition, the relationship between the two major powers is currently at a low point since the launch of a suspected spy balloon. Ford manager Lisa Drake then also emphasized at a press conference, according to Bloomberg (paywall), that her company would retain control over production and labor and would license CATL’s technology. Instead of a joint venture, Ford will own the plant through a wholly owned subsidiary, she said.

The Michigan state plant is expected to be operational in 2026 and will employ about 2,500 people. The investment volume amounts to $3.5 billion.

Photo: iStock/Sven Loeffler

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