Tesla CEO Elon Musk has indicated on his Twitter that he is studying changing important material in the batteries of his eletric cars with battery cells based on iron phosphate (LPF). The change would be from nickel to iron phosphate (LPF) and motivated by the high material prices on the market.
Musk had previously indicated that he believes the energy density of LPF propellants has improved enough that it makes sense to use them in their low-cost models. This would make lithium-ion batteries available for Tesla's most expensive models.
Today, the most basic version of the Tesla Model 3 produced at the Shanghai “Gigafrábrica”, in China, have been made with iron phosphate cells since October 2020. Some of these parts were exported to Europe and, today, it is Tesla's new basic model marketed there.
However, in the United States, the Model 3 Standard Range Plus is still made with nickel cells, but the automaker's large sales volume on American soil could change that soon.
Nickel batteries are more efficient
Tesla uses battery cells with nickel instead of LPF because they have more energy and a higher power density. Because of this, the automaker uses the technology only in its low-range vehicles.
However, nickel prices have risen exponentially in the world market, only in 2021, the increase was already 16% and part of this is due to the demand for batteries for electric cars. This increase has been worrying Elon Musk for some time now.
During Tesla's earnings statement in July 2020, Tesla's CEO asked miners to increase production of the material. "Any mining company out there, please mine more nickel," said Musk at the time.
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