China’s CATL (Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd.) has been considering expanding and building a new battery factory in the United States. The electric vehicle (EV) battery maker has reportedly been vetting potential sites in Kentucky and South Carolina for a facility that would supply BMW and Ford.
Now it appears as though they are considering expanding into Mexico. According to sources familiar with the discussions that spoke with Bloomberg, CATL is considering at least two locations in Mexico for a facility that would potentially supply EV batteries for Tesla and Ford.
The two locations being considered are Ciudad Juarez, in the state of Chihuahua, and Saltillo, in Coahuila. The sources said if the plans come together, CATL would spend as much as $5 billion on the project.
The total amount to be spent could also be split between the project in Mexico and the project in the United States, and no final decision has been made, the sources explained.
A facility in Ciudad Juarez would be beneficial for Tesla as it borders the state of New Mexico and is close to the San Jeronimo-Santa Teresa port of entry. This location would allow for an easier border crossing than one that would go into Texas as the Lone Star State has stricter inspections of commercial vehicles to cut down on illegal drug-trafficking and immigration.
If CATL does expand into Mexico or the U.S., it won’t be their battery factory outside of China. The company plans to open the first international plant in Arnstadt, Germany later this year.