Apple, which over the past few years was rumored to be working on its own all-electric car project, reportedly came across a battery supply issue.
The company would like to use the lithium iron phosphate (LFP) lithium-ion cathode chemistry, but it seems that the leading suppliers of this type of battery are not willing to agree to the terms proposed by Apple.
Reuters reports that according to its undisclosed sources, the talks with Chinese battery makers CATL and BYD mostly stalled "after they refused to set up teams and build U.S. plants that would solely cater to the tech giant."
"The firms informed Apple sometime in the past two months that they were not able to meet its requirements, the people said. But the U.S. company has not given up hope of resuming talks with either CATL or BYD, according to one source."
According to the article, CATL rejects the deal due to several issues, including political tensions, cost concerns (production in the U.S.) and "impossible to set up a separate product development team exclusively working with Apple due to difficulties in finding sufficient personnel."
BYD already has a manufacturing site in Lancaster, California (for electric buses and trucks, as well as battery systems), but declined to build a new factory to supply LFP battery cells solely for Apple.
In other words, the two know their values and risks and since their businesses are booming, they don't even need Apple.
Reuters' sources indicate that Apple considers also the Japanese battery maker Panasonic, which would be quite interesting. The company has competence in basically all types of battery chemistries, but so far was focused on other chemistries for EVs.
Meanwhile, Tesla has announced that all of its standard-range electric cars (globally) will be equipped with LFP battery cells. Tesla already uses CATL cells in base versions of the Model 3/Model Y. The company is also interested in using LFP in energy storage systems.