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Tesla battery supplier says million-mile unit ready for production

China's CATL, the company often floated alongside Tesla's million-mile battery rumor, says its battery will go 1.24 million miles.

Tesla Model 3 deliveries in China
Could battery swaps be a realistic thing with such a battery? The future will tell more.

We've heard many rumblings about a million-mile battery for Tesla cars coming, and the company that often popped up alongside such rumors has confirmed the battery's existence.

In an interview with Bloomberg published last Sunday, Contemporary Amperex Technology Limited Chairman Zeng Yuqun said the company is ready to build the battery. Per his comments, this new battery will last 16 years and has enough energy to run for 1.24 million miles.

How ready is CATL? Apparently, the company said it'll build them as soon as the firm receives an order for the million-mile battery. So much of this news has surrounded Tesla but the company hasn't made its own announcement. It could be this unit won't be tied to Tesla at all, and instead, the electric carmaker may have something more tailored to its own operations. At a minimum, we know Tesla worked with researchers in the past on this kind of technology.

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Tesla did not immediately respond to Roadshow's request for comment. However, Yuqun mentioned in the interview he and Tesla CEO Elon Musk chat frequently. He also confirmed CATL and Tesla are interested in developing cobalt-free batteries. Such a unit would be far cheaper to produce and spare the mining of rare earth materials. Both Tesla and CATL signed an agreement for two years to plop its batteries in Chinese made Model 3 sedans. CATL also provides batteries for Volkswagen and Toyota.

It's easy to dismiss a million-mile battery as some silly advancement since no one will drive a car for one million miles. However, this type of battery opens up the possibility for the battery serve as power for other things during its life. The battery pack could even be used in a second vehicle to minimize waste and streamline production. Perhaps we're closing in on a world where car buyers pick out their new EV, but swap the old car's battery in to keep it humming along. That'd sure give a 21st-century twist on an engine swap.