Elon Musk said that Tesla sees potential in the chemistry of batteries with a manganese-based cathode. Interest in using this metal was first voiced by the CEO of the company during Battery Day in 2020.
During a speech at the opening ceremony of the manufacturer's first European factory, Giga Berlin, on March 2022, Elon Musk spoke about Tesla's developments in the field of batteries. He reiterated that the industry needs to focus more on the battery supply chain, starting with minerals. Musk expressed concern about the high complexity of manufacturing using graphene and said he sees the solution in using other materials.
Tesla is constantly working on the production of batteries, testing different materials. Currently, the company's batteries used nickel-based chemicals for long-range vehicles and iron phosphate for short-range vehicles. However, the chemistry of battery cells may change in the future and the use of manganese may begin. “I think there’s an interesting potential for manganese,” Musk said at the Giga Berlin event.
However, this announcement by the head of Tesla did not come as a surprise, as he has repeatedly spoken about the potential of the metal, and indicated that the company is exploring the possibility of using it. At the Tesla Battery Day event in September 2020, Musk hinted that the batteries for electric vehicles manufactured by his company can contain 1/3 manganese in the future. “It’s relatively straightforward to do a cathode that’s 2/3 nickel, 1/3 manganese, which will allow us to make 50% more cell volume with the same amount of nickel,” he said.
In addition, in January 2022, Musk, in response to a tweet, again said “Just that manganese is an alternative to iron & phosphorus for scaling cathode production to several TWh/year.” He explained that manganese also requires less lithium, as it operates at a higher voltage.
Manganese also requires less lithium, as it operates at higher voltage— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 27, 2022
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