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Iron man Elon Musk places his Tesla battery bets

The U.S. electric pioneer disclosed that nearly half of the vehicles it produced in the first quarter were equipped with lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries

April 27, 2022 / 08:59 PM IST
Logo of electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla, which is headed by Elon Musk (Image: Reuters)

Logo of electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla, which is headed by Elon Musk (Image: Reuters)

As Tesla's profits and prices grabbed headlines last week, a potentially pivotal development for the global car industry flew largely under the radar.

The U.S. electric pioneer disclosed that nearly half of the vehicles it produced in the first quarter were equipped with lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries – a cheaper rival to the nickel-and-cobalt based cells that dominate in the West.

The revelation, eclipsed by the carmaker's $19 billion revenue and Elon Musk's Twitter charge, was the first time Tesla had disclosed such specifics about its batteries make-up.

It flashed a strong signal that iron-based cells are finally starting to win global appeal at a time when nickel is blighted by supply concerns due to major producer Russia's war in Ukraine and cobalt is tainted by reports of dangerous conditions at artisanal mines in Democratic Republic of Congo.