Audi is in talks to add China's BYD Co. as a supplier of batteries for its electric vehicles, according to people familiar with the matter.
Negotiations with Warren Buffett-backed BYD, China's top electric-car manufacturer and No. 2 auto-battery supplier, are at an advanced stage, the people said, asking not to be identified because the talks are private.
BYD is also in discussions with other automakers about battery-supply deals, one of the people said.
BYD's batteries would be used to equip upscale cars made on the Premium Platform Electric architecture jointly developed by Audi and Porsche, said one of the people. The first models are slated to hit the market around 2021.
Audi and BYD had also explored options for deeper ties including a development joint venture or acquiring a stake in the Chinese supplier’s battery unit, the people said. It’s unclear how far those talks progressed, they said.
There is no guarantee that an agreement with Audi will be reached, the people said.
An Audi spokeswoman said the company is in talks with several manufacturers, and no decision has been made. BYD said it didn’t have any information to disclose at this point.