The Reuters report cites sources who are "familiar with the plan" as saying that new, cheaper batteries are created to make the auto run for a million miles and thus make Tesla more profit as they could then compete with the gasoline vehicles in the same price range. These new battery cells will have more than 1000 charging cycles for a more extended range.
Tesla's new batteries will rely on the use of low-cobalt and cobalt-free battery chemistries, and the use of chemical additives, materials and coatings that will reduce internal stress.
The new battery, which is expected to be introduced later this year or early next year, will have a lifespan of 1 million miles and enable Tesla cars to compete on price with gasoline-powered vehicles, Reuters reported Thursday, citing anonymous sources.
They were developed by Chinese battery giant Contemporary Amperex Technology in collaboration with battery experts recruited by Musk. CATL's cobalt-free lithium-iron-phosphate battery packs have just recently fallen below $80/kWh, with battery cells dropping below $60/kWh. It also shines a brighter light on Tesla planning its battery cell production, as presumed. Musk's agenda is to make his Model 3 sell for cheaper than a gasoline-powered auto, and elevate Tesla to the status of a power company.
Tesla also plans to implement new high-speed, heavily automated battery manufacturing processes created to reduce labor costs and increase production in massive "terafactories" about 30 times the size of the company's sprawling Nevada "gigafactory" - a strategy telegraphed in late April to analysts by Musk. CATL's low-cobalt NMC battery packs have nearly reached that magic $100/kWh number. These are most likely the team around Jeff Dahn who has been working on project Roadrunner for some time now, only CATL's involvement is new.
The sources said CATL also plans to supply Tesla in China next year with an improved long-life nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) battery whose cathode is 50% nickel and only 20% cobalt. While first versions are destined for the China-made Teslas apparently, it is unclear which models would benefit from the new cells.
Recycling and recovery of expensive battery materials is also part of the plan.