Do I trust the “Chinese” Tesla Model 3, with the new LFP batteries? We write a reader, Giacomo, who has just ordered one Standard Range Plus with NMC batteries (448 km of autonomy). The seller offers him to change the order on the run. And to replace it with one Long Range of Chinese production with LFP Lithium-Iron-Phosphate batteries (580 km of autonomy). It costs around 4,000 euros more, but with 132 km of extra range. Is worth? Are there any drawbacks to LFP batteries?
Do I trust Tesla…? / Price difference: 4 thousand euros
“VI’ve been reading for a long time, you are an excellent source of information and ideas. After a lot of thinking, I decided to skip the initial cost hurdle and buy an electric. I have tried and evaluated VW and Tesla and have decided that, as far as I’m concerned, the latter offers a best quality / price ratio. After dealing with some difficulties with Tesla’s sales department, I was able to finalize the order for a Model 3 SR +. Delivery scheduled for mid-September. However, the doubt has yet to be completely dissipated. The Tesla salesman offered me to evaluate a upgrade towards a version Long Range of Chinese production, almost ready for delivery. Under the chapter differences, between “Standard” and “Chinese” Long Range it essentially showed me only the autonomy data. 614 km WLTP for the American against 580 of Asian. Knowing Elon’s plans for using LFP batteries for “reduced” performance models, I asked for them. The answer was yes: they are LR with LFP batteries. Clearly there is the price issue. On the Tesla website, ready for delivery, there is an adaptation of the showroom of 2k € compared to the list price. They would therefore be approx € 4k more than SR + with NMC batteries. What would you do? Have you ever heard of these Chinese LRs?“. Giacomo.
Do I trust Tesla…? / The differences between the two batteries
Paolo Mariano answers – We knew that Tesla markets the version Standard Range with LFP (lithium iron phosphate) battery. But until now, we had never read of a version Long Range with LFP batteries. We contacted Tesla Customer Service: confirmed to us that the rhomologation request for a Long Range version with LFP battery. But at the moment they do not have the certainty of an upcoming marketing of this version, nor of the relative ones technical features. What we do know is that the Standard Range with LFP battery is a little heavier of its peer with NMC batteries (approx 130 kgAlthough progress has been made in terms of increasing energy density, this is still today lower than that of NMC batteries. Yet greater weight we tend to imagine they match slightly higher consumption. The first Standard Range marketed in Italy also supported reduced power reloads compared to the NMC sisters. But with a recent software update, it now appears that the differences are negligible.
The advantage of FLPs: they last much longer
Initially it seemed that Tesla Model 3s equipped with LFP batteries also had one greater sensitivity to low temperatures. And that this led to one quick reduction of autonomy with intense cold. It is not clear whether this problem is real or is rather due to an imperfect management of the air conditioning of the cells. Or even to a more complex and not always excellent functioning of the cell monitoring system. We reserve the right to carry out in-person tests as soon as possible. What we do know about LFP chemistry is that it can support a higher number of charge-discharge cycles before seeing its functioning compromised. This is the reason why this chemistry has been used for many years industrial use. 3500/4000 cycles before perceiving a decay of the drums, to the rhythm of three complete cycles per day, means over 3 and a half years of operation. The application in a car makes the battery life virtually infinite over the years, since the daily cycles are much lower. Evaluate you, Giacomo, the pros and cons: if you are Long Range FLP is actually available, maybe the game is worth the candle …