Jan 21, 2021 08:26 PM

Chinese Battery Giant Says It Had Nothing to Do With Latest Tesla Fire

What’s new: Chinese electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. (CATL) has said that a Tesla Model 3 that appeared to have caught fire in a garage in Shanghai on Wednesday wasn’t equipped with a battery that it had manufactured.

CATL became one of three battery suppliers for Tesla Inc. last year, providing lithium iron phosphate batteries for the U.S. EV giant. The other two suppliers, LG Chem Ltd. and Panasonic Corp., make a battery type called ternary lithium.

Tesla hasn’t responded to Caixin’s questions regarding the alleged explosion.

What’s the background: The popular ternary lithium battery, which can power EVs for longer journeys on a single charge than lithium iron phosphate batteries, is at greater risk of catching fire because it contains the precious metal cobalt.

According to the National Big Data Alliance of New Energy Vehicles, 95% of EV explosion incidents from January to September 2020 in China occurred in vehicles using ternary lithium batteries. The remainder occurred in vehicles equipped with lithium iron phosphate batteries.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use.To read the full Caixin article in Chinese, click here.

Contact reporter Lu Yutong ( and editor Heather Mowbray (

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