Nickel supply is a challenge in increasing the production of lithium-ion cells. In the past, Tesla has already talked about abandoning batteries with a nickel cathode, and soon the company's intentions will become reality. Musk once again mentioned that nickel is an obstacle to increasing battery production. For this reason, the company was forced to take appropriate action. Musk tweeted that all of Tesla's Standard Range vehicles will now contain iron-cathode battery cells. He emphasized that they will have a lot of iron, and of course lithium, which the company plans to mine in the future.
Nickel is our biggest concern for scaling lithium-ion cell production. That’s why we are shifting standard range cars to an iron cathode. Plenty of iron (and lithium)!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 25, 2021
The use of LFP batteries will allow Tesla to free up significant reserves of lithium-ion chemical cells using nickel cathodes for other vehicles produced by the company. Tesla is currently using LFP batteries in the Giga Shanghai-made Model 3. Despite the fact that at first the owners of such cars reported that they have some difficulties with charging, a recent software update has significantly improved the process and quality of charging.
Although nickel is the preferred option for electric vehicle batteries due to its higher energy density and higher capacity, it is expensive and its prices continue to skyrocket.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.