Tesla’s domestic Model 3 will continue to receive battery pack upgrades in China, notably for the basic model rear-wheel drive variant, which will be raised from 60kWh to 66kWh. The new M3P battery produced by CATL will be used in the upgraded variant. Furthermore, rumours indicate that the CATL M3P battery pack will be employed not just in the updated Model 3 but also in future Model Y updates as part of the platform solution.
According to official data, the current range of the Tesla Model 3 produced at the Shanghai factory is between 556 and 675 km. The Model 3 is expected to attain a single-charge range of more than 700 kilometres with the introduction of the new M3P battery, aligning with CATL’s mileage target.
CATL created the M3P battery with a unique material system that provides higher energy density than lithium iron phosphate batteries while being less expensive than ternary batteries. This battery provides a comprehensive answer to the long-standing problems with phosphate-based and ternary lithium batteries.
The CATL M3P battery most likely has two metal elements, such as magnesium, zinc, or aluminum, to replace some iron elements in the phosphate system. As a result, a ternary material is formed, which improves charge and discharge capacity as well as cycle stability. Despite the fact that the industry has been investigating M3P materials for several years, there were still difficulties to solve, particularly in terms of insufficient conductivity. CATL’s research team tackled this issue with significant study and computations, successfully increasing conductivity by altering the material with different elements.
According to a report from Autoevolution, the M3P battery’s energy density is expected to be approximately 15% higher than that of the existing lithium iron phosphate battery, which is around 210 kilowatt-hours per kilogram. This advancement is projected to increase the driving range of the Model 3 produced at the Shanghai factory by 10%.
The demand for M3P materials in 2023 is estimated to be around 20,000 tons, with the potential to reach 100,000 tons next year. In the upstream sector, companies with manganese ore reserves and high-purity manganese sulfate production capacity will be the first to benefit. In the midstream sector, leading companies with modified technology, core patents, and large-scale production capabilities are expected to thrive. In the downstream sector, manganese iron phosphate has already found applications in the latest electric bicycle products, and its adoption is anticipated to accelerate in the electric vehicle market, with domestic automakers expected to commence vehicle production in 2023.