18 Feb 2020 | Battery Innovation Drives Forward EV Industry
Good morning, good afternoon and good evening wherever you are in the world, welcome to EV News Daily for Tuesday 18th February 2020. It’s Martyn Lee here and I go through every EV story to save you time.
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TESLA IN TALKS TO USE CATL’S COBALT-FREE BATTERIES
“Tesla is in advanced stages of talks to use batteries from CATL that contain no cobalt – one of the most expensive metals in electric vehicle (EV) batteries – in cars made at its China plant, people familiar with the matter said.” in an exclusive Reuters report today: “Adoption would mark the first time for the U.S. automaker to include so-called lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries in its lineup, as it seeks to lower production costs amid faltering overall EV sales in China. Tesla has been talking to the Chinese manufacturer for more than a year to supply LFP batteries that will be cheaper than its existing batteries by a “double-digit percent””
Some context on the timeline, on 5th November 2019 Bloomberg reported: “Tesla Inc. has reached a preliminary agreement to start using CATL as a battery supplier for cars made in China from as early as next year”
On 3rd February InsideEVs said: “Reuters reported that Tesla added two EV lithium-ion cell battery suppliers to the equation: LG Chem and CATL. We already heard about LG Chem supplying the Tesla Gigafactory 3, so the big news is CATL here.”
Let’s go back to Sept 13th and a press release about CATL and cell-to-pack technology: “Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Ltd. (CATL), China’s largest automotive lithium-ion battery maker, unveiled its focus on the development of cell-to-pack (CTP) batteries to improve efficiency and lower costs. To safely and efficiently manage the battery cells mounted in an electric vehicle (EV), battery cells are installed in modules and packs. Generally, a cluster of cells make up a module and a cluster of modules make up a pack. Ultimately, each electric vehicle is installed with one pack. CTP, the company’s latest product platform, skips the process of battery modules and allows cells to be directly integrated into packs. CATL can increase mass-energy density by 10 to 15 percent, improve volume utilization efficiency by 15 to 20 percent and reduce the amount of parts for battery packs by 40 percent. A CTP battery can increase the system energy density from 180 Wh/kg to more than 200 Wh/kg. At the cell level, the energy density has already reached 240 Wh/kg in 2019, and by 2024 CATL aims to increase energy density to 350 Wh/kg.”
Dr. Maximilian Holland @Dr_Maximilian
Reuters reports #Tesla & #CATL in talks to use #LFP chemistry in Shanghai Model 3. LFP is less expensive and longer lasting than NCA and NMC and – though less energy dense – has easily enough energy for Model 3 SR+ 250 miles range. LFP has lithium, iron, phosphate, oxygen, and often a bit of manganese. All of these are unconstrained minerals. Only slight challenge is for lithium mining to ramp/scale match the growing demand (no inherent bottleneck). Others very abundant.
No nickel in LFP cells. No cobalt either.
James Frith JamesTFrith
You could probably fit a 50kWh LFP pack in there. LFP pack would be ~11% heavier, which would have a bit of an impact on range but not too much and would be cheaper.
Simon Moores @sdmoores
While LFP lithium ion batteries are heavier & lower range, it’s a sensible cost move for Tesla EVs made and used in China.
CADILLAC ELECTRIC CROSSOVER WILL BE REVEALED IN APRIL
“Cadillac will unveil a midsize electric crossover in April, brand President Steve Carlisle told dealers at the National Auto Dealer Association (NADA) Convention Monday. The new crossover will be Cadillac’s first all-electric vehicle.” reports Autoblog: “Early last year, Cadillac teased the new midsized crossover, telling us to expect it to come in two- and four-wheel-drive flavors and to be offered as a global model. The last we heard of GM’s plans to electrify its luxury brand came in December, when Carlisle laid out an aggressive plan to switch over its entire lineup by 2030.”
Steve Carlisle said: “We enter this decade as an internal combustion engine brand. We want to position ourselves to exit as a battery-electric brand, so we have to manage both at the same time”