Featured image: Tesmanian
On February 3, CATL announced that it had signed a two-year supply agreement with Tesla, valid from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2022. At the end of May, Tesla asked the Chinese government to authorize the production of Model 3, made in a country equipped with LFP batteries.
According to Chinese media, CATL confirms that it will start to ship LFP battery cells to GF3 sometime this month. The original shipment time is August. All MIC SP M3s will be made with LFP battery packs. pic.twitter.com/cTSPh1A35u— Ray4️⃣Tesla⚡️🚘☀️🔋 (@ray4tesla) July 17, 2020
Cobalt has been known as a problematic mineral, which may be the reason most companies want to stay away from it. First, the cobalt is very expensive. Second, cobalt collection is usually mired with controversy, thanks to less than admirable mining practices.
Elon Musk has been vocal about Tesla’s continuous efforts to reduce and eventually eliminate cobalt in the company’s batteries. The made-in-China Model 3 could be the first Tesla vehicle to reach that goal thanks to CATL’s LFP battery. Cobalt-free cells could reduce the price of the locally made Tesla sedan, making it even more affordable to consumers in the Chinese market.