The Tesla MIC Model 3 Long Range RWD was approved by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) on Friday, March 6, 2020, reported Reuters. With the approval, the long range Made-in-China Model 3 is closer to production at Tesla’s Giga Shanghai factory.
Giga Shanghai's single-motor Model 3 Long Range RWD might be as popular as its American counterpart before the EV automaker stopped its production. Currently, Tesla sells the Model 3 dual-motor Long Range AWD variant in the United States.
The MIC Model 3 Standard Range Plus has gained some good traction in the Chinese auto market. Given the Model 3 Long Range RWD's popularity in the United States, it could be a good fit for Tesla's consumer base in China as well due to the vehicle's combination of range and performance.
Approved today— Kelvin Yang (@KelvinYang7) March 6, 2020
Tesla China registered the MIC Model 3 Long Range RWD in the MIIT’s listing last month. According to a previous Tesmanian report, Giga Shanghai’s Long Range RWD Model 3 weighed 1745kg, making it heavier than the one made in Tesla’s Fremont factory. The Model 3 Long Range RWD made in America weighed 1726 kg.
Tesmanian initially noted the difference in weight could be attributed to the different battery cells in the MIC Model 3 Long Range variant. At the time, it was already known that Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) and Tesla had plans of working together on Giga Shanghai’s vehicles.
However, Tesla’s interest in CATL’s cobalt-free cells, which many believed referred to the Chinese battery supplier's prismatic lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) cells, may result in the company using batteries with different energy densities as those that are used in its US-made vehicles. The China-based battery supplier’s prismatic batteries could explain the MIC Model 3 Long Range RWD’s difference in weight.
It has been speculated that Tesla could replace the modules in its battery packs with CATL’s prismatic cells. If Giga Shanghai’s Long Range variant does give modules the ax, there would be more room to fit cells in Tesla’s battery packs.
Even though CATL’s battery tech would probably be a good fit for the MIC Model 3 Long Range variant, Tesla has not announced anything yet. The EV automaker hasn’t officially announced how it would use CATL’s battery cells.
Many speculations are circulating online. However, Tesla will probably keep mum about anything related to batteries until April’s Battery and Powertrain Day. Until then, there is only one certainty: Tesla will be unveiling a new battery, and it will be better than the one the EV automaker is currently using.
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