Tesla validates LMFP cells from CATL already used by Chery

New battery cells from CATL with lithium manganese iron phosphate (LMFP) chemistry are already being used in a Chinese electric model. The new batteries will also be used by Tesla in the future, where the new cells are already being validated.

Image: CATL

In June 2023, there was an initial media report that Tesla would equip the new edition of its Model 3 produced in China with new LMFP battery cells from CATL. Although this has not yet happened, a recent article from China reports that CATL and Tesla are currently undertaking validation processes for the new cells. The world’s largest battery manufacturer CATL has now confirmed to investors that the new cells designated as M3P are already being used in an electric model from Chery and Huawei. This is likely to be the Luxeed S7.

The exact time at which deliveries are to begin is not yet clear. Tesla was already rumoured to be switching from LFP to LMFP cells for the base model of the Model 3 Highland, but Tesla appears to have stayed with LFP for now.

LMFP technology is basically comparable to lithium iron phosphate cells, which means that such cell chemistries do not require expensive materials such as nickel and cobalt. The manganese added for LMFP helps to increase the energy density of the cells somewhat in order to come closer to the better energy density of NMC cells, which are lithium-ion batteries with nickel, manganese and cobalt in the cathode. Nevertheless, LMFP cells are cheaper than NMC cells but slightly more expensive than pure LFP cells.



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