Tesla will stick with currently used battery cell types in its China-made electric cars, rather than introducing new rumored types.
The company issued a statement on its Weibo channel (via CnEVPost), which denies multiple rumors that appeared in the Chinese media in the past months.
There are no plans to use any new battery types, including the 4680-type cylindrical battery cells, in electric cars produced at the Giga Shangai plant, Tesla explains.
Let’s recall that the Made-in-China (MIC) Tesla Model 3/Model Y are equipped with either CATL’s LFP prismatic battery cells or LG Energy Solution’s NCM 2170-type cylindrical battery cells (depending on the version).
Recently, we heard a rumor about the potential use of CATL’s all-new M3P cells (a new chemistry), which were expected to boost the range by a level of roughly 10%. This new battery chemistry (or LMFP family and derivatives in general) could replace the LFP because of a higher energy density at a comparable cost.
There was also another report about the upcoming use of BYD battery cells – specifically in Tesla electric cars produced in Germany – but this rumor right from the start excluded the Shanghai plant. Because Tesla’s Weibo post is concerned only with the Chinese market, we don’t have any confirmation about the potential partnership with BYD related to the Giga Berlin-Brandenburg plant.
Anyway, what we do know is that the new tech is coming first to the US and European plants. The new 4680-type cells are already used in Texas (but on a limited scale) and at a later point might be introduced also in other plants (California). The German plant was confirmed to use the 4680-type cell a long time ago, but it can’t be done until there is an established local production (assuming that the US production is not sufficient even for Texas right now).
For all those interested in the topic of what battery types are used by Tesla, here is a comprehensive summary, as of May 2022.