Tesla is countering Model 3 Standard Range+ delays by offering some potential owners the option to switch to the LFP, or lithium iron phosphate, battery packs that are available in Asia and Europe.
For months, Tesla has been battling high demand for its vehicles. Forced to push back delivery dates for the SR+ Model 3, the company’s most affordable vehicle available online, to January 2022, Tesla is attempting to get Model 3s to their owners by offering the LFP packs that come standard in European and Chinese versions of the car.
Tesla emailed Model 3 SR+ reservation holders the following message (via @LimitingThe on Twitter):
“We are contacting you about your Model 3 Standard Range Plus, currently estimated for delivery near the end of the year. We’d like to offer you the opportunity to receive your car even sooner. Due to limited supply and strong customer demand, we are introducing the Model 3 Standard Range Plus battery pack, which we already released in Europe and Asia, to North America. This battery has a range of 253 miles (est).
If you are interested in taking delivery as early as September, please visit our inventory page and search for Model 3 Standard Range Plus vehicles. If you choose to order, your original order fee can be applied to the purchase price of your vehicle upon delivery.
We will continue adding inventory on a rolling basis. Please check back regularly for a refreshed selection. Thank you for your continued support.
The Tesla Team.”
In mid-August, Tesla’s Model 3 SR+ variant, which starts at $39,990 before incentives, was sold out until 2022 in North America. Since Tesla, along with the rest of the automotive industry, has sparred with semiconductor shortages that have delayed production and deliveries, most would have thought that the earliest delivery date of January 2022 would have been due to this. However, it now appears to be battery cell-related, which is something that has plagued electric automakers for years.
Batteries are in short supply as more automakers move to produce electric powertrains. The mass demand for battery cells has caused Tesla to delay the production of some of its products, including the Semi.
Tesla utilizes Nickel-Cobalt-Aluminum batteries for its 2170 cells in the Model 3. In Asia and Europe, Tesla has used the LFP cells, which are more restrictive due to their sensitivity to temperatures and offer less range. Due to the wide availability of nickel and Tesla’s decision to steer away from cobalt in its batteries, it has used LFP cells since the Model 3 was produced in China in early 2020.