The new Tesla Model 3 (code name Highland) might bring some interesting changes related to the main traction battery.

According to a recent unofficial report from China (local media 36kr via CnEVPost), the upcoming revamped Tesla Model 3 RWD will have an upgraded battery. The article says that the entry-level version will be equipped with CATL's M3P lithium-ion batteries (already rumored in August 2022). CATL has been Tesla's supplier for LFP batteries for some versions of the entry-level Model 3/Model Y for a few years now.

It's expected that the new pack will store about 66 kilowatt-hours (kWh), compared to 60 kWh LFP today (and 55 kWh previously in the initial version). This additional 6 kWh (or 10 percent) might increase the CLTC driving range from 346 miles (556 km) to some 380 miles (over 610 km).

By the way, the new CATL M3P batteries might also be used in the revamped Tesla Model Y (code name Juniper), rumored for 2024. The battery would store 72 kWh, according to the report.

Meanwhile, while there is no official confirmation about the Tesla Model 3 Highland, it's believed that it's just around the corner and that it might soon enter production at the Tesla Giga Shanghai factory. Reportedly, trials of the test vehicles are underway.

Unofficially, production might start in September 2023 so it would enter the market before the end of this year.

A potentially new battery is, of course, just one out of many other changes applied to the car. Other reports indicate that the car will be a bit longer, sportier and sleeker than previously.

The consensus is that Tesla is working on the new Model 3 to increase its sales, or at least prevent weakening, as the model was introduced several years ago (initially in 2017 in the United States and in 2020 in China).

We can't exclude that other new versions of the Tesla Model 3 will include structural battery packs with new 4680-type cylindrical battery cells (currently used in the Tesla Model Y AWD). Nothing can be said for sure as Tesla does not comment on the Highland/Juniper rumors.

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