General motors will “work every closely” with Chinese battery maker CATL in the world’s second largest economy, according to reports.
“We have already established a good working relationship and supply agreement with CATL,” said Julian Blissett, GM’s China president, as reported by Reuters. “We will work very closely with CATL in the future.”
“We are not planning on importing any major components for new energy vehicles. The drive units, batteries, motors, etc, will be made locally in China,” Blissett added.
The size of the deal hasn’t been disclosed, but it will be the first supply deal to GM for the Chinese battery giant.
CATL already supplies its batteries to Tesla, Volkswagen and BMW.
GM has so far only used LG Chem’s batteries for its electric vehicles. The US car giant and South Korean batter maker has agreed to set up a US$2.3 billion joint venture in Ohio.
CATL makes prismatic batteries, unlike LG which makes pouch cells. The recent deal with CATL shows that GM’s electric vehicles has become more versatile in what kind of batteries it can use __ much like Volkswagen’s Modular Electric Drive (MEB) platform, a person knowledgeable on the matter said.
The move is also likely part of GM’s cost-cutting efforts to use the cheaper LFP ((lithium ferrophosphate) batteries instead of NCM (nickel, cobalt and manganese), the person added. China was also extending its subsidies for electric vehicle batteries by two years, which is another incentive, they said.