Tesla first introduced a 12V lithium ion (Li-Ion) battery with the refresh Model S earlier this year. The new battery is lighter and more compact, and lasts much longer than the traditional lead-acid batteries.
The automaker recently added it to the Model Y in China, launching the Performance variant with it earlier this month.
Now the company is expanding its use further to include it on Model 3 cars built at Giga Shanghai.
While we have yet to see any reports of the 12V Li-Ion battery appearing in customer cars, the Chinese version of Tesla’s Parts Catalog confirms the addition. (h/t: @tesla_adri)
Unsurprisingly, the 12V Li-Ion battery is also listed in the Model Y parts catalog for China, indicating all variants of the electric SUV also include the new part.
Given Tesla’s previous history of bringing production changes to North America several months after first introducing them in China, it is only a matter of time before Fremont makes the switch to the new battery.
The new battery will likely also be included in all Model Ys built at Giga Texas when it opens next year.
When news like this appears, the first question that pops up is if a retrofit will be available. The goods news is that earlier this year Elon Musk said he was going to look into the idea of a replacement program for existing Tesla owners with lead-acid batteries.