Apple is in talks with Chinese power battery giant CATL and Warren Buffett-backed electric carmaker BYD about battery supplies for its planned electric car, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.
The report said the talks are still in the early stages and it's unclear if they will reach an agreement.
Apple requires potential battery suppliers to have a production base in the US, the report said, adding that CATL is reluctant to build a plant in the US because of tensions between China and the US.
Apple favors the cheaper lithium iron phosphate batteries, the report said. Tesla currently uses this battery in the entry-level model of the China-made Model 3.
Market research firm SNE Research said earlier this month that global electric vehicle battery sales in January-April were 65.9 GWh, up 146 percent from 26.8 GWh in the same period last year.
CATL's sales almost quadrupled to 21.4 GWh, further cementing the company's position as the world's largest EV battery maker, giving it a 32.5 percent market share, 10 percentage points higher than second-place LG Energy Solution's 21.5 percent. LG Energy Solution sold 14.2 GWh from January to April.
Panasonic ranked third with 9.7 GWh and 14.7% market share in January-April, while BYD ranked fourth with 4.5 GWh and 6.9% market share in January-April.
(Data source: SNE Research. Graphic by CnEVPost)
SNE believes that CATL and BYD's growth is largely driven by the rise of Chinese EV companies, while at LG Energy Solution growth is largely driven by the China-made Tesla Model Y and VW ID.3.
Apple has been developing its own self-driving technology with the goal of starting production of passenger cars in 2024, Reuters previously reported.
Apple's planned electric vehicles could include its own breakthrough battery technology, according to Reuters.