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Ministry: Tesla seeks China nod to build Model 3 vehicles with LFP batteries

Reuters logo Reuters 5/23/2020
a bag of luggage sitting on top of a car: FILE PHOTO: Tesla China-made Model 3 vehicles are seen during a delivery event at its factory in Shanghai © Reuters/Aly Song FILE PHOTO: Tesla China-made Model 3 vehicles are seen during a delivery event at its factory in Shanghai

BEIJING (Reuters) - Tesla Inc is seeking Chinese government approval to build model 3 vehicles in the country equipped with lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries, a document on the website of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology showed.

Reuters exclusively reported in February that Tesla is in advanced talks to use LFP batteries from CATL <300750.SZ> that contain no cobalt - one of the most expensive metals in electric vehicle (EV) batteries - in cars made at its China plant.

The document does not show the name of the battery maker. Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The U.S. car maker is building Model 3 vehicles at its Shanghai factory. It uses EV batteries from Panasonic Corp <6752.T> and LG Chem <051910.KS>. CATL has said it would start supplying Tesla from July.

(Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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