SHANGHAI, Aug 26 (SMM) – Tesla's upcoming vehicle assembly facility in Shanghai is estimated to need 25,900 mt of battery-grade lithium hydroxide in a year if the Gigafactory produces 500,000 pure electric vehicles that are powered by high-nickel batteries, showed SMM calculations.
The plant is expected to begin trial production this year and reach mass production in 2022. Production of Model 3 is estimated to stand at 3,000 units for a week in the preliminary stage.
The Tesla Model 3 will have a 50- or 75-kWh battery. SMM’s calculations were based on 62.5 kWh per unit.
It was reported last week that Tesla agreed to buy batteries from South Korea's LG Chem to be used in EVs produced out in the Shanghai factory.
The supply agreement was not exclusive to LG Chem, and the EV pioneer plans to use multiple battery suppliers for its China-made cars, according to last week’s report. In a separate report in March, Telsa was in talks with China’s CATL about a battery supply deal.
LG Chem’s battery plant in Nanjing is expected to achieve mass production in the fourth quarter of this year, and SMM learned that the batteries it produced were installed in Dongfeng Renault’s electric passenger vehicles for trial run last month. The South Korean battery maker said in January it will invest an additional of more than $1 billion to expand its Nanjing plant.
LG Chem, meanwhile, has agreed to buy battery materials from Chinese suppliers, Tianqi Lithium and Ganfeng Lithium.
Ganfeng Lithium in September 2018 signed a supplementary contract with LG Chem to extend its offtake agreement for a further three years to the end of 2025. Under the agreement, it will provide the battery maker with a total of 92,600 mt of battery-grade lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide.
Tianqi Lithium said last week that its subsidiary in Western Australia, Tianqi Lithium Kwinana Pty Ltd (TLK), has signed a supply agreement for battery-grade lithium hydroxide with LG Chem.