A few days ago, according to Reuters, Tesla and CATL had negotiated the use of cobalt-free batteries in Chinese-made cars, and the negotiations have now entered the final stage. "Cobalt-free batteries" as mentioned by Reuters are actually lithium iron phosphate batteries, which has always been one of the power battery technology routes for China's new energy automobile industry. Cobalt is one of the most expensive metal elements in electric vehicle batteries. The biggest advantage of using lithium iron phosphate is cost savings. Tesla has been in talks with CATL for more than a year to ensure the supply of lithium iron phosphate batteries, thereby saving "double-digit percentages" of costs.
In response to this news, CATL Public Relations Department said that it has the ability to provide suitable and competitive solutions based on customer needs to bring value to customers.CATL did not disclose more information. However, another source revealed that the lithium iron phosphate of the CATL will load on the Tesla Low version Mode l 3 in the second half of this year.
"Cobalt-free"! Why choose a lithium ion battery testing? In addition to being safer than a ternary battery, it is more important to be able to reduce costs. The most expensive of the ternary batteries is the cathode material, especially the price of "cobalt" is the highest. At present, the current price of cobalt is 270,000 / ton, and once reached a high of 800,000 yuan / ton. In 2018, Musk stated that to reduce the cobalt content to zero in the next generation of batteries. At that time, cobalt accounted for less than 3% of Tesla battery packs.
To be absolutely free of "cobalt", lithium iron phosphate batteries are indeed a good choice. According to data from Guojun New Energy, the domestic lithium iron phosphate battery cost is 0.65 yuan / Wh, which is much lower than the ternary battery's 0.85 yuan / Wh. Using lithium iron phosphate battery can indeed reduce the cost by "double-digit percentages". However, people familiar with the matter also told Reuters that it is unclear to what extent Tesla intends to use lithium iron phosphate batteries. But the automaker has no plans to stop using its existing nickel-cobalt-aluminum ternary batteries.
In addition to lithium iron phosphate, foreign media news also mentioned the CTP (Cell To Pack) technology of CATL. According to the data of CATL, the volume utilization rate of its CTP battery packs has increased by 15% -20%, the number of battery pack parts has been reduced by 40%, the production efficiency has increased by 50%, and the energy density of battery packs has increased by 10% -15%, which can reach Above 200Wh / kg. Everyone is most worried about the low temperature performance of lithium ion battery testing. At -30 ° C, the lithium ion battery testing using CTP technology in the CATL has a capacity retention rate of 88.4%, which is higher than 80% of the ternary 523 and 78% of the 811, and the energy retention rate is basically the same. CATL lithium iron phosphate battery using CTP technology also performs quite well.
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1.High efficiency output: standard discharge is 2 ~ 5C, continuous high current discharge can reach 10C, instantaneous pulse discharge (10S) can reach 20C;
2.Good performance at high temperature: the internal temperature is as high as 95 ℃ when the external temperature is 65 ℃, and the temperature can reach 160 ℃ when the battery is discharged, the battery structure is safe and intact;
3.Even if the battery is damaged inside or outside, the battery does not burn, does not explode, and has the best safety;
4.Excellent cycle life, after 500 cycles, its discharge capacity is still greater than 95%;
5.Over-discharge to zero volts without damage. Overdischarge to zero voltage test results show that the battery has no leakage after 7 days of storage at zero voltage, with good performance and 100% capacity; no leakage and good performance after storage for 30 days, with 98% capacity; the battery is stored for 3 more times after 30 days of storage Charge and discharge cycle, the capacity is restored to 100%.
6.Low cost.In the metal trading market, cobalt (Co) is the most expensive and has a small storage capacity. Nickel (Ni) and manganese (Mn) are cheaper, while iron (Fe) is the cheapest. The price of cathode materials is also consistent with the price of these metals. Therefore, lithium ion batteries made of LiFePO4 cathode materials should be the cheapest.
7.No memory effect:
8.Small volume and light weight. The volume of lithium iron phosphate battery with the same capacity is 1/3 of the volume of lead-acid battery, and the weight is 1/3 of the lead-acid battery.
9.No pollution to the environment, the battery does not contain any heavy metals and rare metals (nickel metal hydride batteries need rare metals), non-toxic (SGS certification passed), non-polluting, in line with European ROHS regulations, is an absolute green environmental protection battery.
Look through all above ,a trend can be seen that the application in power lithium ion batteries will have great potential.