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Tesla-CATL in talks to use cobalt-free batteries in China-made EVs

Author : Saipriya Iyer | Published Date : 2020-02-19 

Tesla, an American EV and clean energy company, and Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd., a Chinese battery manufacturer, are reportedly in talks to advance EV battery technology. According to the discussion, which started more than a year ago, Tesla will adopt a new generation of batteries developed by CATL, that are free from cobalt, in EVs at its China-based plant. Cobalt is an expensive metal, which costs nearly US$ 33,500 per ton.

Tesla has been increasing the production of Model 3 cars at its US$ 2 Bn, newly built plant in Shanghai, China and lowering prices to gain market share from other premium carmakers such as Daimler and BMW in Germany. Tesla’s Gigafactory in Shanghai began to deliver EVs in December 2019, with an aim to reduce shipping costs and tariffs for the imported car models. Additionally, the company is currently seeking for regulatory approval to develop advanced Model 3 cars with longer range at the new plant.

Owing to the higher energy density, EV manufacturers usually adopt NCA or NMC (nickel-manganese-cobalt) batteries in vehicles. This energy density helps determine how far the vehicle is capable of driving on a single charge.

The companies’ talk would indicate the first inclusion of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery in the Tesla’s lineup, which is cheaper than its existing nickel-cobalt-aluminium (NCA) batteries, by double-digit percent. This adoption will cater to the declining sales of EV in China. The use of LFP batteries also goes in line with Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk’s objective to cut down the usage of cobalt in EV batteries to almost nothing. However, sources with knowledge of the matter have stated that the company will not completely stop using the existing NCA batteries, even after adopting the LFP technology.

CATL has been focusing on enhancing its CTP (cell-to-pack) technology to upscale the safety and density of the LFP batteries.

Both Tesla and CATL have declined to comment on the matter.

Source credit: https://www.scmp.com/tech/big-tech/article/3051163/tesla-said-be-talks-use-catls-cobalt-free-batteries-china-made-cars

About Author

Saipriya Iyer

Saipriya Iyer

Saipriya Iyer presently works as a content developer for fractovia.org. Having dabbled with the domain of content creation for nearly half a decade, she now boasts of an enviable portfolio, holding substantial experience in penning down pieces related to technology, finance, and a wide spectrum of other industry verticals. A qualified computer engineering graduate from the University of Pune, Saipriya can often be found leveraging her knowledge of software technology and electronics in her write-ups. She can be contacted at- [email protected] | https://twitter.com/saipriya_i

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