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Tesla Made $1.6 billion In Q3, Is Switching To LFP Batteries Globally

The lithium iron phosphate cells are less energy-dense but much longer-lived…


Tesla made a profit of $1.6 billion in the third quarter of 2021. It built 237,823 cars and delivered 241,391, ending Q3 with $1.3 billion in free cash flow and $16 billion in cash and cash equivalents. Impressively, these record results happened despite supply chain woes like clogged ports and the semiconductor shortage.

In its presentation to investors, Tesla said that record production and internal cost reductions have more than offset a small drop in the average selling price of its cars. The company now has an operating margin of 14.6 percent, beating its earlier guidance.

The Models 3 and Y did almost all the heavy lifting. Tesla built 228,882 of these battery electric vehicles and delivered 232,102 of them. The Models S and X numbers were much increased compared to Q2 2021, with 8,941 built and 9,289 delivered, but this time last year, the company was selling nearly twice as many.

Tesla’s solar and storage businesses are chugging along, deploying nearly as much solar (83 MW) and slightly more battery storage (1,295 MWh) in Q3 than Q2 of this year.

Cheaper, longer-life battery packs

Perhaps the most interesting revelation in the investor presentation was the news that Tesla is switching battery chemistry for all standard-range Models 3 and Y. Until now, most Teslas have used batteries with a nickel cobalt aluminum (NCA) chemistry. But recently, the company started offering an alternative, an older technology that uses a lithium iron phosphate (LFP) chemistry. (Most other BEVs use a nickel manganese cobalt chemistry.)


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