Apple wants to build car batteries with Chinese: Unexpected competition for Tesla

Apple wants to build car batteries with Chinese: Unexpected competition for Tesla


Tim Cook already had already rejected reports about an in-house Apple Car. Now, however, it became known that Apple is in a joint venture with a Chinese car manufacturer. Which plan does Apple really follow?

“We are focusing on autonomous systems,” said Apple- CEO Tim Cook some time ago in a “Bloomberg” interview. “It is a core technology that we see as very important.” For many Apple fans, these statements were the same with a rejection to the rumors of their own Apple Car. The latest guess: Apple is researching an intelligent platform for autonomous driving. Now, however, Apple has joined up with the Chinese battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology Limited (CATL), as the Chinese website Yicai Global reported. How does that fit together?

CATL has big plans in the near future – Is it dangerous for Tesla?

The battery manufacturer, founded in 2011, is a spin-off from Amperex Technology Limited, one of the largest suppliers of iPhone batteries. In addition, CATL itself is not exactly modest. According to the company, it is the leader in the development of lithium-ion batteries and the third largest manufacturer of batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles. Before CATL would be only BYD and Panasonic. Panasonic supplies Tesla among others. In the coming years, CATL is planning a major breakthrough in battery production.

By the year 2020, the company plans to increase production to 50 gigawatt hours. This would place CATL directly behind Tesla in second place. The US automaker plans to expand battery production – also by 2020 – to 150 gigawatt hours. In addition, CATL wants to reduce battery costs and increase its energy density and charging speed – also targets Tesla has also written on the flag. Last year, the Chinese have already presented a quick-charging solution, which can charge a car battery to 90 percent in just 15 minutes using lithium-ion technology.

What plans does Apple have with the cooperation?

As Apple’s role within the cooperation with CATL will look exactly, both companies are still silent. Sure is currently only: Apple has a strong interest in autonomous vehicle technologies and called it “the mother of all AI projects”. The vehicle technology is therefore “a core technology, which we regard as very important,” said Tim Cook to “Bloomberg”.

In the US, Apple is already testing its software with Lexus SUVs. Apple also needs batteries and rechargeable batteries for a large part of its own products. However, as Apple emphasizes that it is interested in vehicle technology, the conclusion is not far from the fact that Apple’s plans with CATL do not exhaust into iPhone batteries.

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She is the Managing Editor for in-depth discussions and analysis as well as breaking news at Markets Morning. She works closely with Editor-in-Chief Zac Berry on content and publishing initiatives for the site. Brianna Clemons has worked as a financial journalist and editor since 1997. She lives in Bucks County, PA, with her husband, four young children and one dog.