In one of the worst kept secrets of modern time, Tesla has been working towards announcing the advent of a million-mile battery. They’ve also been working towards a battery with no cobalt content. These two things both could have been the subject of Tesla’s postponed Battery Investor’s day, but fate wouldn’t have it.
However, we do know that Tesla’s Chinese battery partner CATL, has been working on these technologies, since they keep acknowledging it publicly. Also, Tesla has filed paperwork in China to start using a LFP battery in the Chinese Model 3, which uses no cobalt but retains the specifications of their current battery.
Put one and two together, and it seems as if CATL will be providing new cobalt-free, substantially cheaper, million-mile batteries for Tesla vehicles, at least in China.
CATL Chairman, Zeng Yuqun, has legit confirmed this speculation in a recent interview.
Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (CATL) is ready to produce a battery that lasts 16 years and 2 million kilometres (1.24 million miles)
In this statement, we not only hear about how the battery met the million-mile threshold, but substantially surpassed it, by a quarter-million miles. Additionally, the 16 years which Yugun says their batteries last, is about twice as long as most EV manufacturers tout.
From both Reuters and Bloomberg reports, it seems like the batteries will be in Tesla’s Chinese cars first. It’s unclear whether this technology was developed by CATL, then purchases by Tesla, or the product of a co-development.
I guess we will have to wait for Investor’s Day… just to get the last couple of details, and to hear Musk’s take.