Ford and China’s CATL considering building U.S. battery plant

Ford Motor Co and China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (CATL)  are considering building a battery plant in Michigan or Virginia to reap tax benefits without treading on Sino-U.S. political sensitivities, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.

The multibillion-dollar facility will make lithium iron phosphate batteries for Ford’s electric models, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The companies are contemplating an ownership structure in which Ford would own 100% of the plant, including the infrastructure, while the Chinese battery giant would operate the factory and own the technology to build the cells, the report said.

That would let the facility qualify for production tax credits under the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act without needing direct financial investment from CATL, Bloomberg reported.

In October, Reuters reported CATL had slowed plans to invest in battery plants in North America over concerns that new U.S. rules on sourcing required materials would drive up costs.

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