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China-made Tesla Model 3 may get cobalt-free LFP battery – cheaper to manufacture, but lasts longer


Tesla is allegedly in advanced stages of discussion to utilize batteries in Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (CATL), a company it’d lately signed a deal together for battery supplies. The move will determine the automaker use a new lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries that contains no cobalt, a metal that is regarded as among the most expensive stuff in electric car batteries.

The adoption of LFP is a first for Tesla, with Reuters saying that the transfer is part of Tesla’s efforts to drive down manufacturing costs for automobiles – particularly the Model 3 – made at its China plant. This will be to curtail slumping EV sales in the region that’s presently crippled from the Covid-19 novel coronavirus outbreak.

Apparently, Tesla has been speaking to CATL for over a year to provide LFP batteries. Cost-wise, LFP batteries is cheaper to manufacture than batteries a source claims, by a percent ’. Tesla now utilizes nickel-cobalt-aluminium (NCA) cylindrical batteries because of the China-made Model 3, that is higher in density and also provides more driving range.

1 drawback of LFP cells is the lower power density, but to battle this, CATL is growing its cell-to-pack engineering, which enables the cells to be directly incorporated without even using modules. This saves space, meaning the battery pack’s volumetric density could be increased to match the footprint, leaving range unaffected.

LFP cells are also said to last longer because of its chemical makeup, but it’s unclear what the weight difference is between LFP packs and cylindrical NCA packs. According to reports, it’s possible for the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus to find the 50 kWh rating via the prismatic LFP pack.

A source also told Reuters that Tesla has no plans to stop using NCA batteries for now. The move to use LFP batteries seems to be more limited to Model 3s made in its China plant, also Tesla is seeking regulatory approval to make longer-range Model 3 cars at the plant.

The usage of LFP batteries will help Elon Musk meet a promise that he made in 2018, a single that will see Tesla reduce on the usage of cobalt to zero. At that time, cobalt costs around US$33,500 (RM142k) a tonne.

The article China-made Tesla Model 3 may get cobalt-free LFP battery – cheaper to manufacture, but lasts more appeared initially on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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