Speculation: CATL to supply Tesla with lithium iron phosphate batteries in China?


Speculations about the possible deal between CATL and Tesla are rife. A recent Reuters report stated that Tesla will purchase “cobalt-free batteries” from CATL, and cobalt-free batteries is right the lithium iron phosphate battery. Other sources further confirmed that CATL supplied lithium iron phosphate batteries to Tesla this year with the volume not less than 40% of the planned production capacity of Tesla Shanghai Super Factory (Phase 1).

Further reports say that the CATL-supplied lithium iron phosphate battery is employed only for the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y in China, this is right the Cobalt-free Battery but not something brand new tech that concerned by industry. A reply on a Tik Tok user video made by the official Tesla Shanghai Super Factory account stated that “Cobalt-free does not mean it must be lithium iron phosphate.” The message was deleted later.

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With its CTP (CellToPack) highly-integrated power battery development platform, CATL aims to further improve the safety aspects and energy density characteristics of its lithium iron phosphate batteries. The technology hikes the volume utilization efficiency of the battery pack as well as reduces the assembly cost. The previous announcement of cooperation between the two companies has pegged the supply period of the batteries from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2022.

The speculations come on the heels of a CATL announcement of its plans to raise 20 billion yuan for construction of its power battery and energy storage battery project, R & D, and as supplementary working capital. In response to the queries of investors, CATL stated that the company’s fundraising project included ternary and iron-lithium products in its considerations. The company further expressed its commitment to advance global power battery technology by addressing product safety, increasing battery energy density, and enriching technical reserves.

Prior to using CATL batteries, Tesla employed the LG NCM (nickel cobalt manganese) 811 cylindrical ternary lithium battery from South Korea for its domestic models. Apart from lithium iron phosphate products, it was reported that other CATL technologies will be subsequently provided to Tesla, filtering to Tesla China high-end products by 2021.

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