Tesla Semi Specs Change, Chinese Model 3 will use CATL M3P batteries

Covering Tesla as obsessively as we do at Clean Technica is almost a full time job. Just this morning, as we gazed out at Montserrat from the executive dining room on the 14th floor of our ultra-chic global headquarters, two pieces of information caught our eye that we were eager to share with our readers.

First, the command button disappeared from the Tesla Semi-Page on the company’s website. According Drive Tesla Canada, customers can no longer order any of these Class 8 Battery Electric Tractors online, but can sign up to receive news and updates about them. Elon Musk tweeted last week that the first deliveries of the Semi should take place before the end of this year. Tesla only started taking online orders in May, so you have to be quick if you want to keep up with Musk and his gang of merry pranksters.

The control button may be gone, but the Semi webpage now provides new details about the Tesla Semi. Previously it was said to have 4 electric motors, but now Tesla says it will only have three. However, the change will not affect performance. It is still listed as having a 0-60 mph time of 20 seconds when fully loaded with its gross combined weight of 82,000 lbs. That’s about a third of the time it takes to get a diesel truck up to 60 mph with a similar load. . Additionally, Tesla claims the Semi can maintain highway speeds even when going uphill.

Tesla now clarifies that the 500-mile range listed on the website for the long-range version of the Semi is for a fully charged vehicle, and it continues to say the Semi will use less than 2kWh of electricity per mile driven. The people at Drive Tesla Canada pulled out their calculators and determined that 2kWh times 500 miles equaled a 1MWh battery. The company claims the Semi can charge to 70% in 30 minutes. Assuming its megachargers can charge two trucks at the same time, that suggests they have a maximum output of 1.5MW.

Tesla originally said the Semi long range (500 miles) would cost $180,000 and the medium range version (300 miles range) would cost $150,000. Now that the pricing information has been removed from the website, does this suggest price increases are coming? The cost of battery materials has recently increased at a staggering rate, but there may be another factor at work here.

The new Inflation Reduction Act provides a $40,000 incentive for heavy trucks weighing more than 14,000 lbs. The Tesla Semi certainly meets these criteria. Is it too cynical to think that the Semi’s price is about to go up by – oh, let’s pick a random number – $40,000? “We will see,” said the Zen master.

CATL M3P Batteries for Chinese Model 3

CATL has a new battery in production that it calls M3P, which is an improvement over the LFP batteries that it supplies to Tesla Shanghai. Technical details are sparse but the abbreviation for battery chemistry is now LMFP, which stands for a formula that includes manganese. The main advantages of the new batteries are an increase in autonomy of approximately 10% and a reduction in costs.

Sources said CnEVPost this week that Tesla will soon launch a new China-made Model 3 powered by CATL’s M3P batteries. Current Model 3 sedans produced at Tesla Giga Shanghai are powered by CATL’s lithium iron phosphate batteries with a range of 556 km or 675 km (NEDC). With the new batteries, the ranges should exceed 600 km and 700 km respectively. (Yes, we know that’s not 10% more range. Work with us here.) The new M3P batteries are expected to start powering China-made Model Y vehicles in the spring of 2023.

Sources in China say the cheaper batteries will allow Tesla to lower prices, but a Tesla China source said the news was a “rumor” and does not correspond to facts. While Tesla plans to equip German-made cars with BYD’s LFP Blade batteries, sources in China say there are no plans to use BYD batteries for its China-made cars.

Why are BYD batteries used in Germany but not in China? We’ll be sure to ask Elon that question the next time he stops for a sardine sandwich in our lavishly appointed food court.


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