2023 Tesla Model 3 with longer range and cheaper price may use M3P batteries
While Tesla may be planning an LFP battery factory in the US, it still gets the lion's share of the power packs for its standard range electric vehicles from Chinese makers, which are at the forefront of the lithium iron phosphate battery revolution. This dependence may preclude its cars from qualifying for the Inflation Reduction Act EV subsidies, but Tesla also benefits from whatever battery technology advances its Chinese suppliers develop.
A case in point is BYD's blade battery that is going into the Giga Berlin Model Y as we speak, as well as the new M3P phosphate batteries by the world's biggest EV battery maker CATL. The M3P battery uses a mix of metals in the place of iron and offers energy density "about 15% higher than that of lithium iron phosphate batteries, reaching 210 Wh/kg, and the cost is comparable to that of LFP batteries," says CATL. During the M3P technology reveal, the battery maker said that the new cells are aimed towards electric vehicles in the 700km (435-mile) range category.
Besides the Model Y, first in line for the M3P battery will also be the Model 3, report industry insiders, and CATL will start supplying packs to the Gigafactory in Shanghai in Q4. The Model Y with M3P batteries is slated for release in early 2023 and the Model 3 with improved standard range will likely launch concurrently. This new 2023 Model 3 is expected to offer at least 10% range increase over the current crop.
Since CATL will be using the cell-to-pack chassis integration technology from its 4680-beating Kirin battery platform for the M3P packaging as well, the whole unit may be cheaper to install. This could allow Tesla to fulfil Elon Musk's dream to lower the Model 3's "embarrassing" prices, says the report, at least for the version made in the Shanghai Gigafactory.