Battery Cells

Tesla Battery Day Amping Up as Nanowire Tech Co Moves Next Door to "RoadRunner" Site

Tesla Battery Day Amping Up as Nanowire Tech Co Moves Next Door to "RoadRunner" Site

Featured image: Tesmanian

After Tesla announced the upcoming Battery Day and Annual Shareholders Meeting, speculation immediately began. And the speculative excitement continues, for good reason: Tesla chose a very interesting background image for the announcement. If we enlarge the background and enhance the contrast, there are some hints of battery chemistry, or possibly nanowires.

Previously, some community members indeed suggested that this image looks like nanowires. Others have noticed that the image is similar to the process that occurs in a battery cell that uses tabless electrode technology.

Now there is new information that points to possible collaboration between Tesla and Amprius Technologies. Amprius manufactures and distributes batteries, and their research and development is dedicated to the silicon nanowire anode.

At the end of June, Tesla applied for the redevelopment of two buildings at 47700 Kato Road and 1055 Page. According to these documents, the building at 47700 Kato Road will be used to host additional production and R&D operations supporting ROADRUNNER, including a portion of cathode electrode manufacturing and the final process step in battery cell manufacturing.

Since then, we have been closely following the construction process, which is developing at a fast pace and should be ready for Battery Day on September 22nd.
@Mars4x4/Twitter noticed that Amprius has moved to a building that is right next to Tesla's aforementioned addresses, where battery cell development and production take place. Amprius' address is listed on its website as 1180 Page Avenue, Fremont, CA 94538 USA.

On the map, the location of all buildings looks like this:

The buildings are in close proximity to each other, which could indicate a cooperation. So what is so interesting about Amprius, such that it spurred some people to consider a potential Tesla partnership? Amprius' research and development is squarely focused on the silicon nanowire anode (what is possibly shown as the background of the announcement).

The main limiting factor of Lithium Ion (Li-ion) batteries is the amount of lithium that can be held in the battery’s electrodes. In conventional batteries, the negative electrode or anode is made of carbon in the form of graphite. Silicon has about 10 times the storage capacity as graphite, but it has a major drawback. Silicon swells dramatically when it is charged. There have been many attempts to use silicon in batteries, but this expansion causes the silicon to fracture and the battery fails.

In 2007, researchers at Stanford University discovered a solution to the problem associated with silicon in batteries. Using new techniques in nanotechnology, they were able to store lithium in tiny silicon nanowires.

Cross Sectional Image of Amprius Technologies' Silicon Nanowire Anode using a Scanning Electron Microscope

Amprius Technologies' 100% silicon nanowire batteries are a breakthrough technology that is revolutionizing the battery industry. With the highest energy density in the world, Amprius' battery tech can improve the performance of electric vehicles, aircraft, drones, and just about anything that uses a rechargeable battery. And if Tesla is really working with the company, then Battery Day should reveal even more exciting, unexpected details.

© 2020, Eva Fox. All rights reserved.


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Article edited by @SmokeyShorts, you can follow him on Twitter

About the Author

Eva Fox

Eva Fox

Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.

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