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400 Range Model 3/Y With CATL M3P Battery: Is It Coming?

There is word that CATL has an M3P battery and that this will enable the Model 3/Y to have 400 miles of range. Is this happening?

CATL M3P Battery

In August 2022, it was confirmed by CATL and Tesla that the cost of an LFP (Lithium-iron-phosphate) battery was about $75 per kWh. This is less than the cost of batteries that follow the standard chemistry of Nickel-Manganese-Cobalt with more Lithium, also known as Lithium-ion Phosphate batteries.

In Q4, 2022, CATL setup production and procurement of its M3P batteries - about 5 KM down the road from Giga Shanghai. It takes about 3 months to get into the vehicle production stage, and there are some who think this means a 400-mile range Model 3 or Model Y soon.

Reports back in August 2022 said that the Tesla Model Y with a 72 kWh battery pack would use CATL's M3P batteries and that they would be available early in 2023.

Well, here we are, and it's early 2023. Where are these batteries? According to CATL's own representatives, these batteries have around 15 to 20 percent more Energy density at a similar cost per kWh, putting it at part with an NMC chemistry. The rebuttal to that is that this is lower cost and more density, and that 430 miles from CATL has been confirmed multiple times.

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400 Range on Model 3/Y

Here's what I think is going on. I continue to believe that Tesla will drive down costs as much as possible and that if it is true that CATL has a comparable 72 kWh M3P battery that can give a Model 3 or Model Y 400 miles of range, that Tesla will use this battery, but downsize it to a smaller kWh to get near or just above the current range of its vehicles.

Tesla knows that it is all about lowering costs right now, and that drastically boosting the range with a new and more powerful battery isn't the answer. As much as I would like a 400 range Model 3, it's not going to happen right now.

The good news is that future generations of vehicles will have these long ranges, once EV saturation and battery recycling is taking place. Then the cost of batteries will be at such a low level that someone will be willing to pay $2,000 to $3,000 to go from 300 miles to 400 miles of range.

Again, Tesla is likely to use less battery cells in order to have lower weight and cost in the vehicle before it goes for higher ranges. At the end of the exponential production curve, Tesla will start to offer longer ranges to entice owners.

That is the beauty of battery technology that a gas car doesn't have. Batteries improve and get better over time and largely, a gas engine takes gas and that is it. You need a bigger tank for more range in a gas car, but with a battery, you can get more with the same size battery as improvements are made.

What do you think about CATL's M3P batteries - are they coming this year and will Tesla offer a 400 range Model 3 or Model Y?

In Related News: Elon Musk Gives Nod to Model 3 - Project Highland

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Jeremy Johnson is a Tesla investor and supporter. He first invested in Tesla in 2017 after years of following Elon Musk and admiring his work ethic and intelligence. Since then, he's become a Tesla bull, covering anything about Tesla he can find, while also dabbling in other electric vehicle companies. Jeremy covers Tesla developments at Torque News. You can follow him on Twitter or LinkedIn to stay in touch and follow his Tesla news coverage on Torque News.

Image Credit, Tesla, Screenshot