Tesla has announced that it is switching to lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries in base versions of its vehicles. Their cost is lower, which could be a way to make the production of electric cars cheaper.
This decision became known during Tesla’s quarterly reporting event. In September 2021, the company who ordered electric Model 3 Americans, the company already asked about the readiness to receive a car with an LFP battery instead of the NCA version.
The first type of batteries has disadvantages – they provide a lower charge storage density, and therefore turn out to be heavier than the NCA when it is necessary to provide a comparable range. They also tolerate negative temperatures worse in terms of their ability to store a charge.
Advantages of LFP batteries – higher chemical stability, preventing accidental combustion, longer service life.
LFP batteries do not require expensive cobalt and nickel in the production, and the process of their recycling is simpler. Older models of Tesla electric cars will continue to be equipped with more capacious batteries based on cells containing nickel, cobalt and lithium.
It is difficult to predict how the switch to a different type of batteries will affect the price of Tesla electric cars, but the company itself will definitely benefit from such a switch.