In the past period of time, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has mentioned battery day many times. Last month, the company stated that the highly anticipated Battery Day event will be held on September 22. Elon Musk told the decomposition division that the contents of the Battery Day event include the "big secret" of Tesla battery research and development, and the impact of the above development on the battery supply chain will also become one of the topics discussed by the participants.
It is worth mentioning that Tesla has always kept the details of the battery day secret, but industry insiders pointed out that the details of the new zero-cobalt battery will be announced at an upcoming event. Tesla has been working to reduce the cobalt content in batteries for many years. A German company's research stated that the cobalt content of Model 3 batteries is 75% less than that of companies such as Volkswagen.
In the second quarter earnings conference call, Elon Musk once said that the cobalt element in the battery will eventually be completely eliminated. Most electric car battery manufacturers such as LG Chem and Samsung prefer nickel-manganese-cobalt or nickel-cobalt-aluminum batteries, rather than cobalt-free lithium iron phosphate batteries, because the former two have higher energy density and allow cars to travel longer distances.
LFP batteries are more environmentally friendly and cost less, but when it comes to cruising range, they are often limited. If the outside speculation is correct, this status quo seems to change with the advent of battery day. There are reports that Tesla’s battery partner in my country, CATL, has begun to supply LFP batteries for Tesla’s Model 3 processed in China.
Elon Musk emphasized this point during the earnings conference call in the second quarter of 2020. He said that Tesla will expand the processing scale of Model3LFP battery packs in my country. By the end of July, Tesla’s long-term battery partner, Panasonic, told the media that they will manufacture commercial zero-cobalt batteries for electric vehicles within two to three years.
In these reports, industries like LG Chem and Samsung have reached a crossroads in battery strategy. If Tesla came up with a way to deal with the shortcomings of LFP batteries, then the battery industry is likely to start abandoning batteries containing cobalt.