Cue up “Range Anxiety” whining from new Tesla owners:
Technological progress is not supposed to go into reverse gear. But that is what appears to be happening in the world of batteries for electric cars after prices surged for raw materials. Tesla, which has led the way in the development of electric vehicles, is switching the type of battery cells used for all its standard-range cars globally to one that analysts once forecast would soon become obsolete.
The Elon Musk-controlled company will use iron-based batteries in those cars, also known as lithium iron phosphate batteries.
This technology is used widely in simple, less sophisticated devices such as golf carts and residential back-up power systems. But in electric cars, they have long been regarded as a less efficient option. Globally, about 10 per cent of all electric car battery cells produced are now iron based.