Apple Inc is in early-stage talks with China’s CATL and BYD about the supply of batteries for its planned electric vehicle, four people with knowledge of the matter said.
The discussions are subject to change and it is not clear if agreements with either CATL or BYD will be reached, the people said.
Apple has made building manufacturing facilities in the United States a condition for potential battery suppliers.
CATL, which supplies major car makers including Tesla Inc, is reluctant to build a U.S. factory due to political tensions between Washington and Beijing as well as cost concerns, the people added.
The U.S. firm is in favor of using lithium iron phosphate batteries that are cheaper to produce because they use iron instead of nickel and cobalt which are more expensive, the four people said.
Apple has been working on self-driving technology and has targeted 2024 for the production of a passenger vehicle, Reuters reported in December.
People familiar with the matter have previously said Apple’s planned EV could include its own breakthrough battery technology. It was not immediately clear if the discussions with CATL and BYD involved Apple’s own technology or designs.
The discussions come and go t a time when the U.S. government is looking to attract more EV manufacturing. U.S. President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.7 trillion infrastructure plan includes a $174 billion budget to boost the domestic EV market with tax credits and grants for battery manufacturers, among other incentives.
Many battery makers are ramping up production to meet soaring worldwide demand as car makers accelerate their shift to electric vehicles to comply with tougher emission rules aimed at tackling global warming.
Chinese battery makers are expected to grow at a faster pace than their foreign peers thanks to further expansion of the world’s biggest EV market, SNE Research said in a June report.