Apple in talks with CATL, BYD over battery supplies for its electric vehicle

Apple is in early-stage talks with China’s CATL and BYD about the supply of batteries for its planned electric vehicle, Reuters reports, citing “four people with knowledge of the matter.”

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“Central to Apple’s strategy is a new battery design that could ‘radically’ reduce the cost of batteries and increase the vehicle’s range, according to a third person who has seen Apple’s battery design,” Reuters reported in December. “Apple plans to use a unique ‘monocell’ design that bulks up the individual cells in the battery and frees up space inside the battery pack by eliminating pouches and modules that hold battery materials, one of the people said.”


Apple has made building manufacturing facilities in the United States a condition for potential battery suppliers, said two of the sources. 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 two people said…

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.

MacDailyNews Note: Apple’s design means that more active material can be packed inside the battery, giving the car a potentially longer range, Reuters reported in December. Apple is also examining a chemistry for the battery called LFP, or lithium iron phosphate, a source told Reuters, which is inherently less likely to overheat and is thus safer than other types of lithium-ion batteries. “It’s next level,” the person said of Apple’s battery technology. “Like the first time you saw the iPhone.”


  1. Everything Apple does lately is about eliminating moving parts. No more buttons, no more slots, no more sockets. I can’t imagine what skills Apple has that would translate to car manufacturing. The touch screen on the dash is hardly the main selling point of a car. (And Apple carplay has sucked on all three cars that I have tried to use it. – Though I can’t say who’s fault that is.)

  2. “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”

    This is BS. It has nothing to do with tensions between Beijing and Washington. It is about wanting the production to be in China so that it’s easier to leak designs out to competing firms who are willing to pay.

    Apple wants this capacity in the US because it can’t protect its IP in Chinese factories. With iPhone, this was just the way it had to be… and thus copycats like Huawei and Oppo often ramp up photocopiers quickly.

    Cars are lower-volume and controlling the battery tech is KEY to maintaining a competitive advantage over Chinese copycat companies. Look at what China’s doing to Tesla for a lesson on that front.

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