Musk 'forces' the logic behind the lithium iron phosphate battery

by:CTECHi     2021-07-05

Lithium iron phosphate batteries once again 'out of the circle

Recently, Tesla CEO Elon Musk (Elon Musk) said that out of concerns about the long-term availability of nickel, the company will consider more electric Lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries are used in cars. It is reported that the current standard battery life version of the Tesla (Shanghai) factory has all been switched to lithium iron phosphate batteries. Musk’s statement this time may mean that he will be in a Tesla factory outside of China and also the standard battery life version Model3 The supporting battery is switched to lithium iron phosphate battery.

(The picture shows Musk’s social media speech)

Musk said on social media: 'The supply of nickel raw materials is We are most concerned about the issue of battery mass production, which is why we plan to equip the standard battery version of electric vehicles with iron-lithium batteries. There are a lot of iron (and lithium)!'

It is a fact that lithium iron phosphate batteries are rich in raw materials, but there are actually a lot of nickel resources for the production of ternary materials, and at present, power batteries are not the market with the largest demand for nickel. But Musk still said that nickel is his biggest worry and concern.

Musk has repeatedly expressed his worries about nickel, but more of it is the soaring price. Statistics show that nickel prices have been soaring since the beginning of this year, with a cumulative increase of 16% since the beginning of the year. Among them, the optimistic demand for electric vehicle power batteries has contributed to the increase in nickel prices.

In order to pursue higher energy density and longer vehicle life, high nickel has become the consensus of the industry. Therefore, from the perspective of technical route planning and advancement, the current mainstream battery companies In the layout of the high-nickel technology route, the demand for nickel resources will also show a rapid growth trend in the future.

The data show that although the current demand for nickel in the battery sector is only about 5%, driven by the high-nickel technology route and the rapid increase in the scale of global electric vehicles, It is estimated that by 2025, the global demand for nickel for power batteries will increase to about 20%.

Although the global nickel resource reserves are abundant, with the increase in market demand for power batteries, nickel prices may also have greater volatility and uncertainty. For Musk, who has always been obsessed with cost reduction, the pressure should not be small.

On the other hand, the reserves of iron and lithium resources are very rich, and the probability of price fluctuations is lower than that of nickel. At present, the cost of lithium iron phosphate batteries is compared with that of ternary batteries. The advantage is obvious. Musk has tasted the 'sweetness' of replacing the standard battery life version of Model 3 with lithium iron phosphate batteries in the Chinese market, so it is logical to replicate this cost reduction strategy in other markets around the world.

Musk’s statement this time indicates that there is a high probability that the standard battery life version of Model 3 will be mass-produced in Tesla's US and other factories in the future with lithium iron phosphate batteries. This will also be of great significance to the promotion and application of lithium iron phosphate batteries in the global market. At present, lithium iron phosphate batteries are mainly used in the Chinese market. In the global market, electric vehicles are mainly ternary batteries (NCM, NCA). Electric vehicle manufacturers led by Tesla are promoting the application of lithium iron phosphate in markets outside of China. It will drive the increase in demand for lithium iron phosphate batteries and upstream materials in China.

At the same time, based on the current cooperation between Tesla and the Ningde era, it is expected that the lithium iron phosphate batteries that Tesla will demand outside of China in the future are also expected to come from the Ningde era. Chinese companies.

Of course, the energy density of ternary battery cells still has obvious advantages compared with lithium iron phosphate, and the power density and charging performance are better. This is why Tesla is only in Reasons for using lithium iron phosphate batteries in short-range electric vehicles. In this type of vehicle, cost is still the main factor, not one of them.

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