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Tesla is on the hunt for Chinese battery partners, report says

With plans to have its Gigafactory 2 up and running by year's end, the Big T is allegedly on the hunt for new battery cell suppliers in China.

Tesla is pushing to open its second Gigafactory in China, but now it needs to find a company to supply the necessary battery cells.
Tim Stevens/Roadshow

With Tesla's second Gigafactory under construction outside Shanghai, the folks at Tesla are hard at work finding battery cell suppliers who can keep up with the facility's planned production.

One of those suppliers -- according to a report Monday by Bloomberg -- may be Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. CATL is quickly on its way to becoming the biggest manufacturer of lithium-ion cells in China and the world.

Tesla's primary battery partner for the US is Panasonic, but it's unlikely that it could support another Gigafactory's worth of production, mainly since that would mean opening another Model 3 production line. Tesla hopes to begin production of the Model 3 at Gigafactory 2 by the end of 2019.

Tesla's most recent annual report mentioned that it had already secured one "qualified vendor" for battery cells for Gigafactory 2 but neglected to say which that was. The company also made it clear that it was seeking further vendors to help fill its orders.

Tesla didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.