News came out at the end of August: Tesla is providing opportunities Electric car buyers who ordered Model 3 Standard Range + Get their car early.Appears in the same month Orders for the cheaper Model 3 will not be completed until 2022. Also applies to A version of the standard Tesla Model Y series(Last month, Tesla renamed the standard lineup models, which are now referred to as rear-wheel drive for short.)
The new option will allow Tesla to deliver its cheapest Model 3 cars faster, but will only be penalized by 10 miles on the EPA’s range rating: 253 miles vs. 263 miles, with the same price tag. In turn, he may be able to transfer more traditional batteries to the hot-selling Model Y compact crossover.
Until this summer, all Model 3s and Ys sold in North America were powered by batteries containing thousands of small cylindrical batteries using nickel-cobalt-aluminum (or NCA) chemistry from Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory. Not only does the new battery pack use a different chemical called lithium iron phosphate (or LiFP), but the battery itself is prismatic, which means that the contents of the battery box are completely different.
The replacement pack is hardly an unknown quantity. So far, prismatic batteries have dominated China. As analysts and Tesla owners pointed out, it is used in all standard-line Tesla models produced by the company’s Shanghai plant. This Chinese factory also exports low-end Tesla models to Europe.
Tesla anticipated this change at the Battery Day event in September, and CEO Elon Musk suggested that the company can use LiFP for cheaper models. As it strives to reduce the expensive cobalt content in the battery, as General Motors has done, the next Ultium battery it co-developed with LG Chem has reduced the cobalt by 70%, and it will try to “add more to the chemistry of the future.” Nickel”.
The energy density of LiFP batteries is lower than that of batteries based on nickel and cobalt, although the difference today is smaller than a few years ago. And in order to compensate for the 4% drop in the EPA’s rated range, LiFP batteries can be charged to 100% of the available capacity. In most cases, the recommended charge for NCA battery packs does not exceed 90%. Therefore, for many buyers, the transaction is almost a baptism.
But in addition to delivering more cars faster, why does Tesla provide low-end batteries? The company has built its reputation by selling electric vehicles that have a much longer range than other manufacturers.Except one Low-cost model only launched in Canada 3 There are 94 miles of cruising range, only the other Tesla has a cruising range of less than 160 miles, and the cruising range is only provided by a single version of the Model S It turned out to be so unpopular that it was abandoned In a few months.
The answer lies in the complex interaction between battery metal supply, battery production restrictions, and China’s ambition to dominate global electric vehicle sales.
Cobalt is the core of almost all batteries in electric vehicles sold in North America. We need long distances, and the energy density of cobalt batteries is higher. Cobalt is also in great demand, becoming more and more expensive, and it comes from some very problematic places. Most importantly, China has unswervingly locked in most of the world’s cobalt and a large share of the processing capacity to convert metallic cobalt into materials that can be used in batteries for 20 years.recent Two part series exist New York Times Exposed World politics, Useful details of international conspiracy and growing global demand.
On the other hand, iron ore has a much lower value, is found on every continent, and has been a global commodity almost since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Some EV analysts said that as all battery chemistries increase the energy density, we will see differences in available batteries: LiFP will be used in low-endurance models and lower-cost entrances, while low-end models will be more luxurious and longer The model of the electric car insists on using the more expensive cobalt chemical substance.
If this happens, Tesla may become a pioneer in this area. It is now the first electric vehicle company in the United States to provide LiFP-powered electric vehicles in bulk. But this is far from the last time.