The story of Apple and its ambition to develop its own electric cars is not going away. Early this year, Hyundai said it was in early talks with Apple to develop self-driving electric vehicles and batteries, according to a report from local media in South Korea. While Apple was silent on the story, Hyundai said, “Apple and Hyundai are in discussion, but as it is early stage, nothing has been decided.”
Now, the story is making the headlines again. Apple is reportedly in early-stage talks with China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL) and BYD about the supply of batteries for its planned electric vehicle, according to an exclusive report by Reuters, citing four people with knowledge of the matter.
The people, who declined to be named as the discussions are private, told Reuters that the discussions about the supply of batteries are still subject to change and it is not clear if agreements with either CATL or BYD will be reached. Two other sources added that Apple has made building manufacturing facilities in the United States a condition for potential battery suppliers.
The sources also told Reuters that Apple 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.
CATL is a Chinese battery manufacturer and technology tech startup founded in 2011. The company specializes in the manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage systems, as well as battery management systems.
Founded in 1995, BYD ( which stands for “Build Your Dreams”) is another Chinese manufacturing company with two major subsidiaries, BYD Automobile and BYD Electronic. BYD manufactures full-electric and hybrid cars, buses, trucks, battery-powered bicycles, forklifts, and solar panels. The company also manufactures rechargeable batteries for mobile phone batteries, electric vehicle batteries, and renewable bulk storage.