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.
The technology was developed in partnership with China's Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd (CATL); and a group of academic battery experts recruited by Musk. It then plans to roll it out to other vehicles and markets, and ultimately produce batteries with new manufacturing processes that are meant to bring down labor costs while raising output volume, at so-called "terafactories" that would span up to 30 times the space of the current Tesla Gigafactories, including the one in Nevada. CATL's lithium-iron-phosphate battery packs cost less than $80 per kWh, with the cost of the battery cells below $60/kWh, sources tell Reuters. Reuters also says the new batteries will rely on low-cobalt components and chemical additives that reduce stress over time.
China threatens countermeasures over United States visa rule for Chinese journalists
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian hit out at the new measures during a daily briefing with reporters on Monday. Previously, visas were often open-ended and did not require extension, Reuters noted.
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.
It's not hidden that Tesla has invested significant capital in China.
The Reuters report also claims Tesla is continuing to ramp up its battery recycling capabilities through its Redwood Materials affiliate now headed by JB Straubel.
Battery capacity and production costs has always been a limiting factor in terms of the manufacturing costs of electric vehicles, and is one big reason EVs carry a price premium when sold to customers. Second life use of automotive batteries for energy storage is also a technology Tesla is working on.