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Foresight of Tesla’s Battery Day: What Hole Card is Musk Holding?

published: 2020-09-16 18:30

Tesla’s Battery Day has been postponed repeatedly due to the pandemic, though we will be able to witness the ace in the hole from Tesla after another week (September 22nd). As the Battery Day is focused on the theme of battery, Musk may not appear on the stage alongside new vehicles. However, the transcending technology that is grasped by the real-life “Iron Man” is allegedly full of surprises. Furthermore, Tesla may also announce the expansion program for future energy storage businesses.

Let us take a look what hole card is Musk holding from the following compiled rumors regarding Battery Day.

New Silicon Nanowire Negative Anode

What is a silicon nanowire negative anode?

Let’s take a look at the official invitation for this year’s Battery Day: distinctive patterns formed with lines created by dots appear on the black background are somehow insinuating the new technology of Tesla. Judging from the circulating rumors, the patterns should represent the latest anode materials (corresponding to the positive anode from the concept of primary batteries).

The new anode materials will allow Tesla and battery OEMs to produce battery units that contain higher energy density (indicating longer endurance) and longer lifespan, and a new wave of price reduction amongst electric vehicles will initiate once this particular technology experience breakthroughs.

Revolution in Production Method

Despite the focus of batteries for the Battery Day, Musk had also hinted that the event will announce astonishing news regarding the production of the vehicles. According to the coverage by Eletrek, Musk is planning to announce the vehicle production of the Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg, who mentioned during his visitation at the specific Gigafactory that “the core technology for the vehicle production equipment at the Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg facilitates a pristine design”. The “Iron Man” is also expected to provide further thorough details regarding the Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg on the Battery Day.

No one knows what Musk has up his sleeves, though he had expressed during the visitation at the Gigafactory Berlin-Branbenburg that “this is our first time in transforming the design of the core structure for our vehicles”.

Blueprint for Marching Towards 400Wh/kg

It was reported back in August that Tesla is intending to build electric planes, though Musk had commented in a tweet that he will not probe into this particular issue since there are is no evidence to support this theory. However, the comment itself was rather fascinating. Musk expressed that the mass produced 400Wh/kg battery will appear within the next 3-4 years, which is a threshold that must be surpassed in order to enter the field of electric planes, as also pointed out by the CEO of Tesla himself.

Putting aside electric planes, such high degree of energy density does look impractical. For instance, the energy density for the battery of Model 3 is merely at 260Wh/kg, and it will surely be petrifying if the density increases by another 50%.

Million Mile Battery

The rumor pertaining to the million mile battery has been circulating for almost a year, and the Battery Day will be the best platform for debuting this piece of technology. CATL, who happens to be a major power battery supplier for Tesla, once claimed to have developed a battery capable of a lifespan of 1.24 million miles, though Tesla has never officially talked about this technology.

Perhaps the new battery from CATL is the brainchild between the company and Tesla, or may be Musk is hiding another astounding piece of technology.

Bidding Farewell to “Cobalt”

Apart from the Million Mile Battery, CATL has also joined hands with Tesla on eliminating “cobalt”, the exceedingly expensive and evil element, from the equation of lithium batteries.

The Model 3 for the Chinese market will be the first to adopt the lithium iron phosphate battery produced by CATL, and the CTP technology (cell-to-pack) of CATL will fill in the void created by cobalt, in order to increase the energy density and elevate the durance of the battery.

In addition to car batteries, Tesla is also intending to develop electricity businesses, with Europe being the new target. Tesla had previously applied for a public utility license earlier this year, and the company had obtained the license to sell electricity in Western Europe during early September, as well as issued questionnaires to German clients asking if they are interested in replacing their existing electricity suppliers.

Without a doubt, Tesla will not be able to replace power plants by itself, though the excessive power produced by the integration of solar rooftops and energy storage equipment can indeed be sold to power plants. Experts do not believe that Tesla will be capable of entering the public utility field independently, but the contribution from several partners in balancing the power grid should be no problem at all.

 (Cover photo source: Flickr/Steve Jurvetson CC BY 2.0)

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