After chiding Ford for the US CATL battery project, GM may be looking for one of its own

General Motors is negotiating a US battery-supply deal with China’s CATL, Car News China Reports.

GM already works closely with CATL, but that relationship is limited to the China market. The deal being discussed will reportedly bring the partnership to North America in the form of a joint battery plant located in the US or Mexico, along with a GM licensing agreement for CATL’s LFP battery technology.

Car News China reasons that the deal could be similar to the one between Ford and CATL—a deal criticized by GM leadership. In September, GM CEO Mary Barra said The Wall Street Journal Ford’s partnership with CATL “could be a prelude to China’s dominance of US car manufacturing.”

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Ford announced its joint venture battery plant with CATL in February last year EV affordability is key. The plant in Michigan makes LFP cells under license from CATL but is operated by Ford. Vehicle manufacturer Construction was paused last fallThen resumed it in a slightly smaller form.

This project—and a potential GM one—could change the makeup of the North American battery market, Car News China notes. Japanese and Korean firms currently control 80% of the market.

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However, the Department of Energy’s “foreign entity of concern” language introduced in the EV tax credit rules now applies to manufacturing and assembly, as well as most of the supply chain—and to companies incorporated in China or companies with a 25% or greater stake owned by the Chinese government. So even if Ford or GM controlled production, Chinese intellectual property could make these deals a legal gray area.

LFP battery technology originated in the US, but was abandoned by US companies due to lack of near-term payback, but it has been refined by several Chinese companies over the past two decades. CATL’s next-generation LFP battery technology claims to add capacity 250 miles in 10 minutesWith better cold-weather charging and performance.

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