CEO Elon Musk has said Tesla will be shifting their standard range vehicles to lithium iron phosphate, or LFP batteries.
Musk made the announcement yesterday on Twitter, citing a lack of nickel as one of the main reasons for the switch to batteries with an iron cathode. He did not provide a timeline on when the shift might happen, or if it has already begun.
Nickel is our biggest concern for scaling lithium-ion cell production. That’s why we are shifting standard range cars to an iron cathode. Plenty of iron (and lithium)!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 25, 2021
Tesla is actually already manufacturing Model 3’s in China with LFP batteries. Production of Standard Range Plus (SR+) began at Giga Shanghai in October last year, with some of those vehicles being exported to Europe a few months later.
Vehicles at Fremont are still being produced with lithium-ion battery cells with nickel cathodes.
One of the advantages of LFP batteries is they can be charged to 100% on a regular basis. Shortly after they were released in China, the automaker actually recommended the new charging habit saying it would have no adverse affect on the longevity of the battery.
That was followed shortly after by removing the “Daily” and “Trip” battery charge recommendations in the Tesla app.