Tesla is planning to shift some of its cars to a type of battery that uses iron instead of nickel.
“Nickel is our biggest concern for scaling lithium-ion cell production. That’s why we are shifting standard range cars to an iron cathode. Plenty of iron (and lithium)!” Musk wrote on Twitter.
Nickel is a key component in lithium-ion batteries, used in electric vehicles. It packs more energy into batteries and allows producers to reduce use of cobalt, which is more expensive and has a less transparent supply chain.
The metal has rallied 16% this year on the London Metal Exchange amid a broad-based rally in commodities, with investors betting on strong demand growth as economies reopen.
Musk had previously urged miners to produce more nickel. Supplies will be tight for the next three years, and there could be a significant deficit as early as 2023 as demand picks up, according to BloombergNEF.
Tesla is seeking the Chinese government’s approval to manufacture Model 3 vehicles in the country fitted with lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries this is revealed by a document on the website of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in China, which was accessed by Reuters.
Tesla is in advance talks to use LFP batteries from CATL (Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd) in cars made at its China plant. These batteries do not contain cobalt which is one of the most expensive metals in electric vehicle (EV) batteries.
Reference- Reuters News Agency, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, China website, Electrek, livemint