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Chinese Tesla Model 3 With LFP Batteries Is Now Heading to European Customers

At the beginning of October 2020, Tesla lowered the base price of the Model 3 in China by adopting LFP battery cells from CATL. The cobalt-free lithium iron phosphate chemistry brought the starting price down to 249,900 yuan, translating to $37,395 at current exchange rates, a considerable cut from the previous 271,500 yuan.
Chinese Tesla Model 3 with LFP battery 21 photos
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We take EVs for granted these days, thinking that they’re eco-friendly from the start of their life until the very end in the car crusher. The truth is, the cobalt that goes into the typical lithium-ion battery is hard to mine, hard to refine, and there’s a bit of a problem with the supply chain because most automakers use this particular chemistry.

In addition to being cheaper and friendlier to the environment, lithium iron phosphate or LFP frees up the supply chain and it’s a more robust chemistry than batteries with NCM or NCA cathodes. At the present moment, Tesla uses this type of battery exclusively in the Model 3 Standard Range Plus manufactured in Shanghai, China.

Previously exclusive to the People’s Republic, the LFP-equipped SR+ will make its way into the European Union in a matter of days based on a French customer’s deposit invoice for his Model 3. To whom it may concern, the VIN number of the car is LRW-XXXXXLCXXX according to French publication Green Drive.

Before switching to the LFP chemistry and Chinese manufacturing, the European version of the Standard Range Plus with rear-wheel drive came from Fremont in California with Li-Ion batteries produced by Tesla and Panasonic at the Gigafactory in Nevada. This switch also confirms an improvement in profit margins for the entry-level specification, but that’s not all. Remember that leaked email from Elon Musk?

The chief exec intends to end 2020 with more than 500,000 vehicles produced, and the Fremont manufacturing plant is extremely important to this goal because the United States is Tesla’s largest market. Last year, for example, worldwide deliveries totaled 367,500 units and the U.S. accounted for 195,125 of those electric vehicles.

Over in Europe, the Chinese Model 3 is listed with a WLTP range of 440 kilometers as opposed to 430 kilometers for the American-made version with Li-Ion batteries. In other words, you’re looking at an improvement to 273 miles from 267 miles.

 
 
 
 
 

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