Tesla orders 45 GWh of EV batteries from CATL

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Chinese media reported that Tesla ordered 45 GWh of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries from Chinese battery producer CATL. The batteries reportedly will be used for the automaker’s Model 3 and the Model Y.

The reports calculated that the 45 GWh would be enough to support production of 800,000 vehicles, which is more than Tesla’s sales through the first three quarters of 2021 (625,000 units). The news outlet pegged the battery capacity of the two models at 55 kWh and 60 kWh.

On October 28, CATL broke ground on a new lithium-ion battery production base in Yichun, east China’s Jiangxi Province. The first phase of the project involves an investment of around $2.1 billion to build a 50 GWh lithium-ion battery production base.

News outlets said that Tesla’s Nevada battery plant is expected to expand production to more than 40 GWh. Additional supplies from Panasonic and LG Chem led the outlet to speculate that global sales for Tesla in 2022 could be around 1.5 million vehicles.

The first LFP-powered Tesla model was the standard-range Model 3 made in its Shanghai factory. Earlier this year, the Shanghai-made standard range Model Y also switched to an LFP battery.

At the end of August, Tesla said that its U.S. customers would have the option of buying an LFP-powered Model 3. And, in reporting its third-quarter financial results in October, Tesla said that it would shift to LFP battery chemistry globally for its standard-range vehicles.

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