Tesla Battery Day: budget car from Elon Musk and rejection of cobalt

Tabless battery cells to improve Tesla's range

Tesla has announced the release of battery packs that

will improve the range of its electric vehicles. The company transfers the production of batteries to its own production.

Tesla unveils development plans on TuesdayA “tabletop” battery that can improve the range and power of an electric vehicle. The company will produce the new batteries in-house, which CEO Elon Musk predicts will help significantly reduce costs and allow the company to ultimately sell electric vehicles at the same price as diesel ones.

The battery is expected to lower the costTesla kilowatt-hours are the units of energy most commonly used to measure the capacity of battery packs in modern electric vehicles. Many experts believe that lowering these costs will allow Tesla to dramatically lower the price of its cars, thereby making them much more affordable. The news of the new battery was announced during the highly publicized Battery Day event in Palo Alto, California.

Musk said Tesla has achieved this breakthrough.removing the tab, the part of the battery that connects the cell to the object it powers. The company moves on to producing its own battery cells in a new larger form factor (4860). The new battery cells will provide the company's electric vehicles with five times the power, make them six times more powerful, and will increase the range of Tesla vehicles by 16%.

New elements are larger than the current ones, their sizes46 by 80 mm (hence the name - 4680). In addition to increasing energy and power, the new cells will lead to a 14% reduction in the cost per kilowatt-hour on the cell form factor alone, Musk said.

During the event, Drew Baglino, Vice PresidentTesla on Powertrains and Energy, spoke about the new elements. He said Tesla engineers "laser-patterned" the elements to create "spiral shingles," which reduced the electrical path to 50mm from the current 250mm in current cells.

"In fact, the path [for the electron to travel] is shorter in the large table cell than in the smaller tabbed cell," Musk added.

Like most car companies, Teslabuys batteries from major manufacturers, so it can focus on its core mission: building electric vehicles. The company's 2,170 elements, currently used in Model 3 and Model Y vehicles, are manufactured by Panasonic at the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada.

But these supplies have become strained. In 2018, cell shortages at Panasonic exacerbated Tesla's production problems when the company began to ramp up its power to build Model 3. Musk criticized Panasonic's battery production pace.

Musk's announcement that Tesla will startproduction of our own batteries is aimed at eliminating these problems. The move to in-house battery production has been hinted at by recent acquisitions, leaked photographs, patent applications and research published by Jeff Dunn, one of the earliest lithium-ion battery developers and head of Tesla's battery research.

The S Plaid will cost $ 139,990 and will be available in 2021

Tesla says its Plaid powertrain will be available for delivery in 2021. Plaid is one step above the top model Ludicrous Tesla.

Within the presentation of Battery Day Elon Muskshowcased a video of the new Model S "Plaid" sedan, which is a step up from the Ludicrous model. According to specs on Tesla's website, the long-awaited Plaid powertrain will have a range of 520 miles, 0-60 mph in less than 2 seconds and a top speed of 322 km / h. The price is listed on the Tesla website and is $ 139,990.

Musk last year featured a Tesla video oftransmission Plaid, noting that it "will cost more than our current offering." The Plaid Model S made its debut last September at the Laguna Seca racetrack, where it covered the distance in 1 minute and 36 seconds.

The emergence of a new cathode plant

Tesla plans to build a new cathode plantfor its batteries in North America to help lower supply chain costs and simplify cathode manufacturing, CEO Elon Musk said today at the company's battery event.

Musk said the current process is ineffective andimprovements are being made to make cathodes 76% cheaper and do not generate waste water. The new process will eliminate many of the intermediate steps associated with cathode production, and it plans to diversify the cathodes used due to the low supply of nickel.

Musk did not go into details of where andwhen the new plant will be built, but at the beginning of the presentation he said that he wants the gigafactory to be on all continents. In July, the company said it was building its next US plant in Austin, Texas, and Musk said he would "vigorously consider" the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma, in second place for future projects.

There is no more cobalt in the cathodes

Tesla will produce cathodes for electric vehicleswithout cobalt. The announcement was made as part of the company's attempt to manufacture batteries in-house rather than buying them. Musk has not yet announced the timing of the transition to a battery with zero cobalt content.

Cobalt is the most expensive material used inbatteries, so it was expected that cutting it out of the mix would help make EVs as affordable as those that run on gas. Tesla now says it can make an electric car for $ 25,000 - $ 10,000 less than its cheapest model - because of the improvements it has made to its batteries, including the addition of cobalt.

It is important that we make cars that people can afford. Accessibility is key to how we scale.

Elon Musk

Cobalt is also called the "blood diamond of batteries". The reason is the danger of its prey for child workers, in addition, it damages the environment in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A lawsuit filed by an international advocacy group against Tesla, Apple, Alphabet, Dell and Microsoft in December alleges that the companies make their products from cobalt mined by young children. Tesla began working with the Chinese company Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd. (CATL) on developing batteries that have virtually no cobalt in them, Reuters reported in May.

Working with different types of batteries isnew problems. The drive to use less cobalt has led to increased demand for another metal to replace it in batteries: nickel. Musk urged mining companies to mine more nickel during the July P&L, and did so again during Battery Day. “To scale, we really need to make sure we are not constrained by the overall availability of nickel,” Musk said today.

Nickel is mined in more locationsaround the world than cobalt, but its mining has polluted the lands of indigenous peoples in Russia. As a result, indigenous activists forced Musk to refuse to buy material from the Norilsk Nickel mining company, Grist reported.

$ 25,000 car - Musk's new target

Tesla plans to reduce the cost of itsbattery cells and battery packs with the ultimate goal of building an electric vehicle for $ 25,000. Musk said Tesla will achieve this goal by using its new battery cell "decals" and replacing materials inside the cell, which he says should allow Tesla to "halve" the price per kilowatt hour.

Today's battery packs cost from 10,000up to $ 12,000 depending on their capacity. Low battery prices could be the key to opening up more affordable high-volume electric vehicles. Tesla is aiming to bring the cost of future units down to less than $ 6,000, which will bring the unit cost well below $ 100 per kWh.

The average price of electric vehicles in the US is falling,most recently, it fell from $ 64,300 in 2018 to $ 55,600 in 2019, down 13.4%. And that's largely thanks to the Tesla Model 3. But that's still a high price tag compared to the $ 36,600 average price for a regular gas car (although that price is constantly increasing).

Model 3 was supposed to be the first carTesla for the general market. Right from the start, the company's "master plan" outlined by Musk in a 2006 blog post described how the desired electric sports car would be built to convince people that electric cars could be cool (which was a daunting task at the time) ...

But Musk's plan to build a Model 3 for 35,000dollars was never realized due to the well-documented "production hell". Today, Model 3 Standard Range Plus starts at $ 37,990, Long Range starts at $ 46,990, and Performance starts at $ 54,990.

This isn't the first time Musk has predicted thatTesla will slash the cost of its electric vehicles. He pledged a $ 25,000 electric car for the first time back in 2018, which he says will be possible within three years.

However, during Tesla Battery Day, Musk addednew forecast: the company is going to sell 20 million vehicles a year. "This will be about double the current production of Toyota, GM or Volkswagen," tweeted Ed Niedermeier, author of The Ridiculous: The Plain History of Tesla Motors.

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