China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., the world’s biggest maker of batteries for electric vehicles, is considering at least two locations in Mexico for a manufacturing plant to potentially supply Tesla Inc. and Ford Motor Co.
The battery manufacturer is considering Ciudad Juarez, in the state of Chihuahua, and Saltillo, in Coahuila, according to people familiar with the deliberations. Both are near the Texas border. The company is contemplating an investment of as much $5 billion in the project, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private information.
Ciudad Juarez is attractive in part because it’s close to the San Jeronimo-Santa Teresa port of entry into the U.S. state of New Mexico. That would provide a route around the border crossings of Texas, which is the home of Tesla’s new factory but in recent months has taken measures that complicated shipping and entry into the U.S. Gov. Greg Abbott in April increased inspections of commercial vehicles, stating a desire to crack down on illegal drug trafficking and immigration. But analysis by one economics research group found that it cost the state’s economy more than $4 billion in lost output due to shipping delays and bridge blockades.
CATL, as the Ningde, China, company is known, is also considering splitting its investment across two locations -- one in the U.S. and one in Mexico, the people said. A final decision hasn’t been made and the total size of the investment is fluid. Bloomberg reported in March that the investment could build an 80 gigawatt-hour factory.
CATL and Ford declined to comment. Tesla didn’t respond to a request for comment.