Tesla plans to introduce a new low-cost, long-lasting battery in MIC Model 3 in China either later this year or early next year. This battery could balance the costs of EV with the cost of ICE vehicles and allow extend the life of EV batteries.
Reuters reported today that it had received interesting information from people who familiar with the information Tesla CEO Elon Musk could share on Battery Day. According to them, new inexpensive batteries, designed for use over one million miles may allow Tesla to sell its cars at a profit for the same price or less than a gasoline car. The new battery is only part of Musk's talking points on Battery Day.
Reuters wrote that Tesla's “million-mile” battery was using CATL technology and deploys technology developed by Tesla in collaboration with a team of academic battery experts recruited by Musk, three people familiar with the matter said to Reuters.
CATL has developed a simpler and less expensive way of packaging battery cells, called cell-to-pack, that eliminates the middle step of bundling cells. Tesla is expected to use the technology to help reduce battery weight and cost.
The initial battery will be introduced in the MIC Model 3 in China. Later, improved versions of the battery, with higher energy density and storage capacity at lower costs will be introduced in Tesla vehicles in markets around the world.
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, sources said.
Tesla also plans to implement new high-speed, heavily automated battery manufacturing processes designed to reduce labor costs and increase production in massive terafactories about 30 times the size of Giga Nevada.
Tesla is working on recycling and recovering expensive metals such as nickel, cobalt, and lithium, through its affiliate Redwood Materials, as well as new second life applications of electric vehicle batteries in grid storage systems.
All achievements in the field of battery technology, a strategy for expanding the use of electric vehicles, and huge automation of production are aimed at one goal: to make electric cars more accessible to consumers.
A number of the technical advances made by Tesla and CATL in battery chemistry and design originated at a research lab at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The lab has been run by Jeff Dahn, a pioneer in the development of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and grid storage.
The cost of CATL’s cobalt-free lithium iron phosphate battery packs has fallen below $80 per kilowatt-hour, with the cost of the battery cells dropping below $60/kWh, the sources said. CATL’s low-cobalt NMC battery packs are close to $100/kWh.
In comparison, the new low-cobalt batteries being jointly developed by General Motors Co and LG Chem are not expected to reach those cost levels until 2025, according to a source familiar with the companies’ battery-related projects.
Everything indicates that Tesla will soon defeat its competitors with the low cost of their cars, which could have a longer service life. Mr. Musk, who wants as many people as possible to ride electric vehicles, may make this a reality.
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.