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Tesla to get new million-mile battery ready for production at CATL

CATL announced that it is ready to produce the new million-mile battery and Tesla’s Model 3 made at Gigafactory Shanghai is reportedly going to be first to get the new battery.

Electrek previously revealed that Tesla is working on an internal secret Roadrunner project.

The goal is for Tesla to produce its own battery cells using technologies developed by Tesla’s internal teams, including work from Jeff Dahn’s team in Canada, and new technologies recently acquired through the acquisition of Maxwell, on a massive scale and at a cost below $100 per kWh.

Recently, we reported Tesla has been applying for a lot of intellectual property related to battery cells, like a new electrode for its 1-million-mile battery.

Tesla plans to produce this new million-mile battery itself, but it apparently also plans to have production partners.

Last month, Reuters reported that Tesla is working with CATL to produce a million-mile battery cell in China and that it will first be used in the Model 3 vehicles produced at Gigafactory Shanghai.

Now Bloomberg is out with a similar report corroborating some Reuters’ previous claims.

In an interview, CATL Chairman Zeng Yuqun said that the company is now ready to produce its new million-mile battery cell:

“Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (CATL) is ready to produce a battery that lasts 16 years and 2 million kilometres (1.24 million miles), chairman Zeng Yuqun said in an interview at company headquarters in Ningde, in southeast China’s Fujian province.”

The chairman added:

“If someone places an order, we are ready to produce,”

However, he didn’t confirm that orders have been placed, but Bloomberg reported that the battery will first end up in Tesla vehicles produced at Gigafactory Shanghai.

The chairman did confirm that he is in constant communication with Tesla and CEO Elon Musk directly:

“Zeng said he often shares insights with Musk, with the two exchanging text messages about developments in technology and business. CATL is strengthening its relationship with Tesla, with matters such as cobalt-free batteries on their agenda, Zeng said.”

Zeng added:

“We’re getting along well and he’s a fun guy. He’s talking about cost all day long, and I’m making sure we have the solutions.”

They didn’t elaborate on the exact timeline of the new batteries being installed in new Tesla vehicles.

Electrek’s Take

Some of these battery reports coming out of China about Tesla and CATL are a bit confusing.

It’s unclear if CATL is going to produce Tesla’s battery cell for them in China, or if it’s a different battery chemistry co-developed by Tesla and CATL, which the last Reuters report seems to suggest. In this Bloomberg report, it sounds more like a CATL battery with similar capabilities to Tesla, but that will also be sold to others.

More batteries on the market is good news no matter what, but I am looking forward to some clarity on this front, which we should get at Tesla’s Battery Day.

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