Tesla announced today that it is in a process of shifting all its standard range vehicles to the Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) battery chemistry globally.
It means that soon all of the entry-level Tesla Model 3 and Tesla Model Y versions will be equipped with LFP battery cells (the Model S/X are not available in standard range versions).
"For standard range vehicles, we are shifting to Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) battery chemistry globally."
The LFP batteries (prismatic form factor) are supplied by CATL, which might be the biggest winner of Tesla's switch to cobalt-free chemistry. Earlier this year, Tesla signed a new deal with CATL, which will run until December 2025.
It will be interesting to see whether we will see other LFP battery suppliers (or other LFP form factors) used by Tesla.
Tesla has pretty quickly switched to LFP-powered Tesla Model 3 SR+ and Tesla Model Y SR in China and those cars are also exported from Shanghai.
Recently a Tesla Model 3 SR+ version with an LFP battery was noticed by some Tesla customers in the U.S. Also, a rumor appeared that the Tesla Model Y Standard Range will return to the U.S. with the LFP battery option.
Well, one thing is certain. All the Model 3/Y will be LFP-powered in the near term. It raises a question for Tesla's Fremont plant - whether it will continue to produce Model 3 SR+ with LFP cells imported from China or maybe CATL will build a plant in the U.S.?
The LFP battery chemistry is one of the earliest ones and one of the most affordable with many advantages of high-cycle life and safety, but also a major drawback of lower energy density than NCM or NCA cathode types. It means that it's well suited for standard range vehicles, heavy commercial vehicles and energy storage systems.
Also in the case of energy storage, Tesla's Elon Musk announced the switch to LFP.