Chinese authorities have granted Tesla their approval to begin mass production of Model 3 with a new type of battery, lithium ion phosphate (LFP), Reuters reports, citing a statement by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
Lithium iron phosphate, or LFP, batteries contain no cobalt—one of the more expensive components of EV batteries and the object of ethical mining controversies since most of the world’s supply of cobalt is concentrated in the Democratic Republic of the Congo where child labor is rife.
The new batteries for the Model 3 may be produced by CATL, a Chinese battery and technology company, and the biggest EV battery maker globally. CATL sealed a deal with Tesla to supply it with batteries in February, for a two-year period beginning in July this year.
Soon after, CATL, which also supplies EV batteries to Audi, Hyundai-Kia, Volvo, and Mercedes, said it would boost its production capacity fourfold, for an investment of $3.7 billion. At the time Reuters reported the batteries CATL will supply to Tesla would be lithium iron phosphate ones.
There were no details in the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology’s statement regarding the Tesla deal about the supplier of the batteries.
Tesla’s stock price yesterday surged to over $1,000 after CEO Elon Musk told the company to “go all out” on the semi truck. The share price could rise further, after CATL said it has made a new battery that has a total range of 1.2 million miles over the course of 16 years in productive life. Earlier reports had it that Tesla worked with the Chinese battery maker to develop the new product.
Tesla is soon to hold what Musk called Battery Day, already postponed twice amid the pandemic, at which he is expected to announce more news about the million-mile battery.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Think about the developing countries in Asia, Africa, South America, etc, where most of the population will not be dreaming of buying Teslas, nor calling up Uber, but waiting at the bus stop to get to work. The same is true for much of the working class in the US and Europe.
At the same time, an e-bus will displace 1,000 x more carbon than a Tesla. The e-bus also has the advantage of returning to a central station for re-charging, negating the usual ‘range anxieties’ of e-car owners,(i.e., “how far to the next charging station.”
Pair the e-bus central station with solar panels, and the deal becomes even richer in both cost and carbon savings.
High on my watch list is BYD, the largest e-bus producer in the world. Coming in second, is CATL, the largest lithium battery producer.
The same ideas about e-bus could also applies to container ships and tankers, that have now become the leading cause of global pollution, as world trade is mainly dominated by sea born carriers. I’m still searching for good investment in e-shipping. Suggestions are welcome.
P.S. As a confirmed ‘Elon-ite’, I believe he developed a great car, but for the population in general, it remains an expensive luxury item.