A major Chinese electric car battery maker is delaying its decision on a new plant in North America due to rising tensions over Taiwan. The company, called CATL, is close to choosing a location in Mexico or the United States. The company only wants to announce this later now that a visit to Taiwan by prominent US politician Nancy Pelosi led to angry reactions in China, according to Bloomberg News, based on informed sources.
CATL will announce the location of the North American plant, which is set to supply batteries to Tesla and Ford, sometime in the coming weeks. Now, according to Bloomberg’s sources, the company has decided not to officially release the final option until September or October. CATL was not immediately available for comment.
CATL, the world’s largest producer of electric car batteries, is said to have targeted two locations in Mexico near the Texas border. In addition, CATL is considering multiple plant locations in the United States.
Pelosi, the speaker of the US House of Representatives, landed in the Taiwanese capital Taipei on Tuesday. China sees this as a provocation, because the Asian superpower considers the island a rebellious province. The Chinese military had announced military exercises near Taiwan in response to the visit.
The tensions that have arisen are not a reason for CATL to completely abandon a North American plant. China imposed economic sanctions on Taiwan this week. The state banned the import of many Taiwanese foods.