(HorizonPost.com) – According to a new report, the Chinese-based electric vehicle battery manufacturer CATL’s rapid expansion in the United States may pose a threat to the country’s power grid, Fox News reported.
According to a report published this week by the nonpartisan national security research group the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Beijing leverages green energy companies as a way to create technological dependence to “achieve strategic, political, and intelligence advantages.”
The report is primarily focused on the EV battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) which, backed by support from Beijing, dominates the global industry and has made significant inroads in the US market.
The report warns that CATL’s expansive reach, accomplished through “strategic acquisitions and partnerships with Western automakers and utility companies,” has the potential to provide Beijing with “access points” to collect intelligence and engage in cyber espionage or sabotage.
The Foundation warns that CATL could compromise internet-connected public charging stations to install malware on electric vehicles that would allow for “extended monitoring” and “gathering sensitive information” about the vehicle owners. Additionally, CATL could “execute a shut-down” of charging station networks or disable electric vehicles “through hardware infiltration.”
The company has close links to the Chinese Communist Party, according to the report. In addition to manufacturing batteries and charging stations for electric vehicles, CATL also develops power storage stations designed for large-scale storage of electricity in industrial-size batteries that are used in conjunction with utility companies in the United States, potentially giving CATL direct access to the US power grid.
Any malware installed on these storage stations could potentially threaten the “industrial control systems connected to the U.S. energy grid,” the report said. An attack on these systems could cause widespread blackouts that impact financial hubs or industrial centers.
The report recommends that US policymakers scrutinize and possibly limit CATL’s partnerships with US firms and create oversight to protect the data of Americans and sensitive American technologies.
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