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Apple Reportedly Working With Chinese Manufacturer of Electric Vehicle Batteries

Apple is quietly working with Chinese battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology Limited on automotive battery research and development, according to Shanghai-based Yicai Global. The report, citing unnamed sources, claims the two companies have signed a confidentiality agreement to work together on a "scheme" related to the field of batteries, but no specific details were provided. CATL was founded in 2011 as a spinoff of Amperex Technology Limited, a large supplier of batteries for iPhones and other Apple products. The company, based in Ningde, China, describes itself as a leader in lithium-ion battery research and development, including battery cells, materials, and recycling. CATL says it currently has more than 3,700 full-time R&D personnel from a number of well-known universities and laboratories around the world. CATL claims it has been the world's third largest manufacturer of hybrid and electric vehicle batteries for the past two consecutive years, behind Chinese rival BYD and Panasonic, which supplies Tesla with batteries. The company's lithium-ion batteries are used in both passenger vehicles and buses. The purpose of Apple's involvement with CATL remains unknown, as the iPhone maker reportedly abandoned plans for its own electric vehicle, at least temporarily, last year. Apple has instead emphasized its interest in autonomous technologies. "We're focusing on autonomous systems," said Tim Cook, Apple CEO, in an interview with Bloomberg Television's Emily Chang last month. "It's a core technology that we view as very important." In