According to a document on the website of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in China, Tesla is seeking the Chinese government’s approval to manufacture Model 3 vehicles in the country fitted with lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries, a Reuters report reveals. It also reported in February that the American manufacturer had been in advanced talks to use LFP batteries from CATL (Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd) in cars made at its China plant. These batteries do not contain cobalt which is one of the most expensive metals in electric vehicle (EV) batteries.
The available document does not reveal the name of the battery manufacturer. Tesla is manufacturing Model 3 electric cars at its factory in Shanghai. It has been using EV batteries from Panasonic Corp and LG Chem, which CATL would start supplying to Tesla starting July.
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New, low-cost batteries designed to last for a million miles of use and enable electric Teslas to sell profitably for the same price or less than a gasoline vehicle are just part of Musk’s agenda, people familiar with the plans told Reuters.
With a global fleet of more than 1 million electric vehicles that are capable of connecting to and sharing power with the grid, Tesla’s goal is to achieve the status of a power company, competing with such traditional energy providers as Pacific Gas & Electric and Tokyo Electric Power, those sources said.
Tesla’s new batteries will rely on innovations such as low-cobalt and cobalt-free battery chemistries, and the use of chemical additives, materials and coatings that will reduce internal stress and enable batteries to store more energy for longer periods.
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