Ford’s decision to use licensed technology from Chinese EV battery maker CATL hasn’t gone without its fair share of controversy from politicians in both the U.S. and China, with both calling for a review of the deal in the weeks that have followed since The Blue Oval announced plans to erect the new BlueOval Battery Park Michigan in the small town of Marshall. Though FoMoCo has stated that it will own and operate the facility with little involvement from CATL, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio just introduced a bill aimed at excluding any EV that uses Chinese battery technology from being eligible for IRA tax credits, while fellow Senator Joe Manchin – who previously asked for those credits to be suspended altogether – has his own hesitations regarding the deal, according to Reuters.
Manchin pointed to the fact that a 12 percent royalty included in the Ford-CATL deal would presumably send $900 out of every $7,500 tax credit to the latter company as his reason for demanding change, and suggested that the U.S. developed LFP technology in the first place. “I’ll be damned if I’m going to give them $900 out of $7,500, to let it go to China for basically a product we started,” Manchin said. He also suggested that lithium-iron phosphate technology – which is what will be used in the batteries built at the new plant, with licensing from CATL – can be reverse engineered as well.
While Manchin is opposed to tax money going to CATL, he didn’t join Rubio in starting that he would seek to prevent Ford from accessing these funds as well. It’s also unclear if CATL would, in fact, receive the funds that Manchin is talking about, though he – along with Rubio and Senator Lisa Murkowski – have called for revisions to be made to the Inflation Reduction Act to ensure that this isn’t the case.
Meanwhile, Ford has maintained all along that CATL will have little involvement in the operation of its new facility. “So the equipment will come from various locations and the more that we can domestically source, we will,” Lisa Drake, vice president of EV industrialization for Ford Model e said at the plant’s Q&A media event. “But yes, some of the equipment will most likely come from China and there will be CATL personnel on site somewhat to help with installation, but it’s predominantly the Ford team that will be doing most of that work. But we will operate the facility, it will be a Ford plant manager and we will operate it through the subsidiary.”
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More 10% for the big guy.
Oh god, not this stupid line again.
We sold our SPR oil to China. Just continue with the idiocy. China the biggest world polluter is helping with the green energy destruction of America.
If the government can screw the deal up, it will
Classic disinformation from a guy that doesn’t use a period.
And then we have Manchin, just playing crypto Republican in everything that reduces dependence on oil or coal.
Manchin advances a stupid argument of “tech we developed in the first place” as if it means we shouldn’t have to pay for licensing that fee from the Chinese.
Well, we require folks to pay us for our IP, so it’s rather stupid to talk that we should get it for free because we developed it initial tech… that the Chinese bought the he patent to from the Canadians who bought it from the USA. A patent that has lapsed a couple years ago.
So what will Ford be licensing? Newer IP developed by the Chinese because they invested in developing and building up the initial US IP, and, in addition, they invested in developing the processes that make the finished product, which they have refined into a know how that currency greatly exceeds ours.
Because folks like Manchin directly beholden to big carbon slow walked green new tech, by underfunding, and not incentivizing incubation, while the Chinese did, the Chinese are far out in front of us.
What Ford is doing is part of a smart plan to catch up but Rubio is not smart, and Manchin just wants to protect incumbent carbon producers even if that means not catching up.
WE Allowed the sale of A123, one the leading Battery Tech companies to the Chinese about 5-6 years ago. They have all of battery Knowledge We Had. I hope we can buy back the smarts !!