A recent change to Tesla’s website is hinting the Standard Range Plus (SR+) Model 3’s coming to Canada either already include LFP (lithium iron phosphate) batteries, or could very soon.
Tesla first introduced the LFP batteries in China last year. The batteries are cobalt-free, cheaper to produce, and are able to be charged daily to 100% without any adverse affects to its longevity.
The batteries are also not as energy dense as the current Nickel Manganese Cobalt batteries. This means to get the same amount of range, LFP pack require more cells. More cells means more weight.
According to the “Specs” page on the Canadian version of Tesla’s website, the weight of the SR+ has been increased 133kgs (220lbs) to 1,745kg (3,847lbs). As recently as November 2020 the same page listed the weight of the SR+ as 1,612kg (3,553lbs).
The US version of the same page lists the weight as 1,625kg (3,582lbs). (h/t @SraMYaguchi)
While the change in listed weight for the SR+ is not a definitive indication it now includes LFP batteries, there are some other clues that show it may be true.
Currently the only market with LFP batteries in China. According to their owners manual, the listed weight difference of the Model 3 with nickel-based batteries and LFP batteries is 131kgs. As noted above, the weight difference between the two changes is 133kg.
This change is also expected to be coming. Citing a lack of Nickel, CEO Elon Musk commented on Twitter in February that Tesla is shifting all of their Standard Range vehicles to LFP batteries. This was when there was both the SR+ Model 3 and the now discontinued SR Model Y were available.
There were also recent reports that Tesla has been importing about 1,000 finished battery packs from Asia to Fremont since earlier this year. CATL manufactures the current LFP batteries for Tesla and is based in China.
The Nevada factory used to have a couple of lines making storage cells for powerwalls and megapacks, but Tesla is now so "demand constrained" that I'm told all lines make cells for the 3/Y, while all storage cells plus ~1k battery packs/week for Fremont are imported from Asia.
— Carsonight (@carsonight) April 8, 2021
If it is true that the SR+ in Canada is getting LFP batteries, they likely haven’t started arriving north of the border yet. As mentioned previously, the batteries can be charged daily to 100%. As a result, owners in China no longer have the recommended “daily” and “trip” charge recommendations in the app, and we have yet to see any reports of this appearing in Canada.
Drive Tesla has reached out to our contacts to see if we can get confirmation of the change. If any of our readers have taken delivery of a SR+ Model 3 very recently, please reach out to us firstname.lastname@example.org.