Apple is negotiating with the Chinese companies CATL and BYD about the supply of batteries for its allegedly planned electric cars. Insiders say that the American company has made some specific demands.
With reference to a total of four insiders, Reuters writes that the talks are still at an early stage. Apple has made the construction of production facilities in the USA a prerequisite for cooperation. CATL is apparently reluctant because of the political tensions between the USA and China and cost considerations.
According to Reuters, people familiar with the proceedings say that the course of the discussions could still change and it is not clear whether agreements with CATL and BYD will be reached at all. It was also still unclear whether Apple has also been negotiating with other battery manufacturers.
While there is apparently no preference yet on the supplier, the tech company is said to have clear ideas on battery technology: the above-mentioned insiders are saying that Apple prefers lithium iron phosphate batteries. The main reason is probably the cost advantages of the LFP cells, which are not only more robust, but thanks to their materials are also cheaper to produce than batteries with cobalt or nickel.
Rumours about Apple’s electric car plans have been around for years, but the tech giant has yet to make any public comments on the matter. Reuters had reported in December 2020 that Apple was aiming to start production of an autonomous electric car for the mass market by 2024.
Earlier this year, the Apple Car was back in the media not only because of media reports from December: there were reports that Hyundai could become the tech giant’s partner, but a statement from the carmaker hinting at a possible partnership was later toned down and the reference to Apple removed. A month later, it was then said that Apple was on the verge of a billion-dollar partnership with Kia.