In the near future, Tesla’s electric cars will be equipped with LFP batteries to reduce costs and increase range.
Tesla has been working on the subject for several months: how to reduce production costs while increasing the performance and range of its electric cars. The answer may lie in China, at least for now. Indeed, Chinese vehicle manufacturers are fond of LFP batteries. The latter has enabled many manufacturers to cut costs while taking the opportunity to improve some aspects of the vehicles. However, there is a catch in the story, and not the least …
LFP BATTERIES INSTEAD OF EV BATTERIES
At the moment, Tesla, the firm of Elon Musk, uses expensive battery models for its electric cars. The latter use chemical processes with nickel, nickel-manganese-cobalt, or even nickel-cobalt aluminum as the main element.
Nickel and cobalt are saline solutions that produce a precise chemical reaction. However, these elements contained in the chemical basis of EV batteries require a lot of work. It is, in particular, to save time and therefore reduce the manufacturing costs of electric cars that Tesla is looking at all costs for a more optimal solution, LFP batteries, or lithium-iron-phosphate batteries.
The latter is much simpler to manufacture and in particular uses a well-established manufacturing process compared to EV batteries. This will therefore have a direct influence on the product price and will facilitate the construction of batteries by their factories. However, China, which owns the market, currently has the patent for these LFP batteries, but the expiry date is coming to an end, which did not fall on deaf ears, Tesla.
TESLA’S PATENT HISTORY IS HOLDING DOWN ITS MOMENTUM
Indeed, the LFP battery patent held by China to dominate the market is soon expiring. For his part, Tesla does not intend to let such an opportunity slip away. The firm has indeed bought back the rights to use the patent and therefore import the construction of these lithium-iron-phosphate batteries near production sites such as the Giga factory recently opened by Tesla or other factories. in other continents.
As Drew Baglino, senior vice president of powertrain and energy engineering at Tesla, says: “Our goal is to locate all key parts of vehicles on the continent – at least as close to the location as possible. where the vehicles are produced. This is our goal. We are working internally with our suppliers to achieve this goal, and not just at the final assembly level, but also upstream. “
In the meantime, Tesla is not resting on its laurels and continues to develop new technologies and in particular a homemade battery. Under the name of battery 4680, the latter, which is therefore designed in-house, significantly increases the electrical capacity of the battery and therefore its autonomy.
The 4680 battery is not yet installed in Tesla electric cars. But, that would not belong in coming, because according to a report of the firm, these batteries would equip Tesla vehicles at the beginning of the year 2022. However, before that happens, the 4680 batteries still have to pass tests and be validated before landing on the firm’s models. As for LFP batteries, once the patent has been bought by Tesla, they could well equip the Model 3 and Model Y.