These Low-Cost Electric Vehicle Batteries Are Getting A Lot Of Attention From Tesla and Chinese EV Makers

These Low-Cost Electric Vehicle Batteries Are Getting A Lot Of Attention From Tesla and Chinese EV Makers

Electric vehicles frequently differ from one another based on the battery technology used. Tesla, a California-based electric vehicle manufacturer, has been setting the standard for years. “A less-expensive battery technology promoted by Tesla Inc.’s Elon Musk rose to control the world’s largest auto market last year,” writes Yang Jie in the Wall Street Journal.

The batteries in question are lithium-iron-phosphate batteries, which are also known as LFP batteries. “One of the strongest champions is Tesla’s Mr. Musk, who has stated that getting enough nickel at a fair cost is a key production concern,” writes Jie for the Wall Street Journal.

A buyer who was offered an early delivery of a Tesla if he selected the LFP option received an email from Mr. Musk in August saying, “Our objective with this pack is that brand experience is basically comparable between nickel & iron.” As Mr. Musk stated in a Twitter post, “I’d personally prefer the iron pack because it prefers to be charged to 100 percent, whereas the nickel pack prefers to be charged to 90 percent.”

The Tesla Model 3 (manufactured in China) was the first to employ LFP batteries, which were introduced in 2020. Last October, the company announced that it would expand the usage of iron-centered batteries to all of its standard-range vehicles going forward. The Wall Street Journal reports that “China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., the world’s largest manufacturer of electric-vehicle batteries, provides Tesla with LFP batteries.”

Meanwhile, “Other Chinese electric vehicle makers are also becoming significant users of LFP.”  Chinese electric vehicle makers, for example, have enthusiastically adopted LFP, “not only because of the cost but rather since the batteries are less prone to catch fire,” resulting in a higher safety profile, according to the Wall Street Journal. As a result, LFP has gained widespread acceptance in China.

The stats explain the whole tale, really. 57 percent of total battery output for automobiles in China in 2021 will be made up of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries, up from under half the year before. Since they use fairly affordable iron in the battery’s cathode, rather than more expensive metals like nickel, LFP batteries have risen to the top of the rankings in China, according to Jie.

However, whereas traditional automakers (in America and Europe) have embraced Tesla’s switch to LFP batteries, the Chinese EV industry has been slow to adopt the technology. “They haven’t gone as far as Tesla and Chinese manufacturers in terms of taking the technology into mass production.”

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