Tesla offers two battery chemistries: NCA for the Long-Range models and LFP for the Standard Range versions
LFP batteries are cheaper to make and more environmentally friendly
Close to 150,000, or half of the vehicles made by Tesla so far in 2022 are equipped with an LFP battery
Tesla introduced a second type of battery chemistry in some of its models last year and it seems buyers have liked this move, since close to half of the Tesla vehicles sold in the first quarter of 2022 are equipped with the new battery.
Lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries have a different chemistry than the nickel-cobalt-aluminium (NCA) batteries that Tesla used in all of its models previously.
This new chemistry doesn’t require nickel or cobalt, which makes it cheaper to produce and more environmentally friendly, due to the lessened demand in rare earth materials.
This is due to the disadvantages of the LFP chemistry, which is not as power-dense as the NCA type, thus dropping the range by about 10 miles (16 kilometers) when compared to the same car with the other battery type.
However, the lower price and environmental footprint are not the only benefits of the new batteries, since they can safely be charged to 100%, unlike the NCA batteries that have to be capped at 90% to avoid cell degradation.
Furthermore, since LFP batteries require less materials to make, they are less affected by the ongoing component shortage, meaning that buyers who choose an LFP equipped vehicle can drive away in it much sooner than those who have to wait for a NCA powered Tesla.
Despite being only available in some versions of two models, the LFP battery found its way in 150,000 Tesla vehicles in the first quarter of 2022, which is almost half of the vehicles produced by the automaker.
This is explained by the fact that the model 3 and the Model Y are the most popular Tesla models by far and that the LFP batteries are found in the cheapest versions of both.