Tesla is constantly innovating to create better batteries as quickly as possible. Everyone is eagerly awaiting Battery Day, where Tesla will share its progress and quite possibly, next-level breakthroughs. Gali / Twitter from HyperChange / YouTube shares his thoughts on this.
Tesla acquired Maxwell Technology about a year ago. Maxwell specializes in the production of ultracapacitors, though this is not what Tesla plans to leverage for their EVs. Maxwell offers a new way to build lithium-ion batteries. The new breakthrough is called dry battery electrode technology.
Maxwell originally developed the dry electrode fabrication process to improve production efficiency and lower manufacturing costs for its ultracapacitor products. The innovation later proved to enhance the performance of battery cells, while also having a cost advantage over existing manufacturing processes. Maxwell's dry electrode technology, applied to battery cell fabrication, has the potential to increase the range and reduce the cost of Tesla's cars, two critical success factors for any EV manufacturer.
Maxwell had been working on a test production line even before Tesla acquired them. A new, relatively inexpensive production line—capable of resolving the battery production bottleneck—would immensely interest Tesla. Gali thinks that perhaps Tesla's main goal right now is not necessarily to improve the battery in terms of range, but to achieve production of a large number of the same batteries in a shorter time frame and at a much cheaper cost. After all, cost is one of the greatest rate-limiters to Tesla's growth.
Six months after the acquisition of Maxwell, rumors began to circulate of a Roadrunner project aimed at reducing the cost of battery production. More and more battery-related jobs began to open up in Fremont. In June, Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed the rumors by writing that Battery and Investors Day will include a tour of the cell production system.
On June 23, Tesmanian gained access to documents confirming the existence of a test production line for battery cells called Roadrunner. In addition to confirming the existence of the production line, the document contains information that the Roadrunner project will expand. Tesla plans to hire hundreds of new employees who will work 24/7. Tesla Project Location: 47700 Kato Road and 1055 Page Avenue.
Besides the lower cost of cell production, batteries will be more efficient. This means that you need fewer cells to achieve the same range, or by setting more cells, you get more range.
In addition to Maxwell, Tesla acquired Hibar, a company that builds equipment for the production of batteries. Gali is confident that the results of this alliance will be the largest technological breakthrough of the 21st century.
This is not just a project, it is a technology that will impact millions of consumer cars—greatly enhancing affordability—and hence marking a momentous shift in the world’s transition away from fossil fuels.
Sometimes a product is just the product. In Tesla’s case, when production capacity just doesn’t cut it, the product may become the process itself. While the EV maker may need next-level scaling tech to make more and cheaper cars, the world’s transition to sustainable energy depends on it.
As we know, Tesla Giga Berlin will have its own battery production in short order, and Giga Texas will probably follow suit. The company is already known as a leader in its disruptive technologies. We expect its battery scaling tech to make history and the future.
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.