CATL teases Tesla batteries for robotaxi fleet

(Credit: Tom Cross)

CATL’s Chairman (Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd) teased Tesla batteries for the robotaxt fleet. Tesla will use idle equipment from Chinese supplier CATL at Gigafactory Nevada.

CATL Chairman Robin Zeng recently talked with Bloomberg News in Hong Kong. He confirmed that CATL will supply battery machinery to Tesla Giga Nevada last month. In the recent interview, Zeng talked about batteries for Tesla’s $25,000 car and its batteries. 

“There’s always room for cost reduction depending on what the US$25,000 car’s aim is. If it’s for robotaxis, we don’t have to worry about the cost reduction for each cell as our batteries have a longer life cycle and so their average cost is actually lower,” Zeng stated. 

Tesla broke ground on Gigafactory Nevada’s $3.6 billion expansion earlier this year. The expansion will add 4 million square feet of manufacturing space to Giga Nevada. The EV startup plans to build two new facilities in the space for Semi and 4680 cell production. 

During the Q4 and Full Year 2023 Tesla earnings call, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Vaibhav Taneja mentioned that the company will focus on reducing costs this year. Elon Musk has shared his concerns about high interest rates affecting car sales. 

Tesla is constantly reducing costs to make its vehicles more affordable. So it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to think that Tesla is already considering cost efficiencies for its $25,000 electric vehicle (EV), the model that will also be used in its robotaxi fleet.

Tesla plans to refine the production process of the $25,000 EV at Giga Texas, and then Giga Mexico will start producing it as well. Giga Texas has its own 4680 battery assembly line, and Giga Nevada’s will likely boost production even further—a necessary step for the $25,000 vehicle. Tesla will need to boost battery production for its $25,000 EV, given that it is expected to be a high-volume model. 

CATL is licensing its battery-making technology to partners like Tesla and charging a royalty fee. With CATL’s technology, Tesla is more likely to increase 4680 production and reduce costs. CATL and Tesla are reportedly working on fast-charging cells, which would work well with the company’s $25,000 EV. 

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CATL teases Tesla batteries for robotaxi fleet
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