Simplicity is power: Tesla’s battery choice is a lesson to other ...

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Simplicity is power: Tesla’s battery choice is a lesson to other carmakers

The powerpacks are cheap and help overcome the persistent issues and inconveniences that come with electric cars

Anjani Trivedi

Tesla seems to have got it right. The usually fantastical Elon Musk is set to give the electric vehicle market and its various players a reality check.

At its third-quarter earnings call, Tesla said it was switching to a less expensive type of battery – the central part of the vehicle – for the company’s standard-range cars globally. Tesla already had been using these in some of its cars in China, where sales have been soaring primarily because prices were kept down. That was a shrewd, prescient and realistic move.

For one, these aren’t just cheaper batteries; they are safer and readily available. That means even if they aren’t going to take Teslas several hundreds of kilometres away on one charge, they will drive the company toward greater sales and, ultimately, wider adoption of greener vehicles. A Tesla Model 3 on these lithium iron-phosphate, or LFP, powerpacks can still go 468km. That’s really not that short a distance — these batteries will do the job...

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