Tesla to use cobalt-free batteries in Model 3 production in China

  • Tesla will start using cobalt-free batteries in certain Model 3s made in China, two unnamed sources told Reuters. 
  • Cobalt is very expensive to mine and its production is linked to human-rights violations.
  • In China, Tesla wants to use cobalt-free batteries in all standard-range Model 3s, the sources said.
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Tesla Model 3 sedans currently made at the automaker’s plant in China use nickel-manganese-cobalt — or NMC — batteries. But Tesla will soon make some cars with cheaper, cobalt-free batteries.

Two unnamed sources told Reuters that Tesla will start making some Model 3s in China with lithium-iron phosphate — or LFP — batteries that contain no cobalt. The move will be officially announced as early as Thursday, the sources said.

Cobalt is among the most expensive metals used in making EV batteries. Mining it also has a history of violating human rights, including child mining

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Tesla to roll out China-made Model 3 cars with cobalt-free LFP batteries: sources

BEIJING (Reuters) – U.S. electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc is poised to start selling some Model 3 vehicles made in China equipped with cobalt-free lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries, two people familiar with the matter said.

Currently the Model 3 electric sedans made at the carmaker’s Chinese plant use nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) batteries. The starting price for the vehicles is currently 271,550 yuan ($39,900) after factoring in government subsidies.

Tesla will announce the product change as early as Thursday, the two sources said. They declined to be named as the matter is confidential.

Tesla was not immediately available for comment.

LFP batteries are cheaper to make and contain no cobalt, one of the most expensive metals used in electric vehicle batteries. Tesla will use LFP batteries in all Model 3 vehicles made in China with standard driving ranges, according to the sources.

In China, the world’s biggest car market, Tesla sold

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