Tesla applies to build Model 3 in China with LFP batteries

In what could be another big step towards Tesla’s goal of lowering the cost of its electric vehicles (EVs), the automaker has applied to the Chinese government to manufacture lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries.

According to a report from Reuters, the application was posted to the website of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. According to the document, the name of the battery maker was not disclosed, and Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.

As we reported earlier today, Tesla and the Chinese battery manufacturer CATL are working towards developing a cobalt free battery. Cobalt is the most expensive element that goes into making an EV battery, so it would be surprising if it was anyone other than CATL.

Sales of Tesla vehicles in China have been very strong this year after the coronavirus shutdown towards the end of 2019. Tesla also recently lowered the price of the Standard Range Plus (SR+) Model 3 in order to re-qualify for EV subsidies in the country.

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