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Tesla Battery Tech Drives Profitability Advantage

by Eva Fox February 12, 2020

Tesla Battery Tech Drives Profitability Advantage

Tesla's battery technology is a best, as evidenced by data that show that the Tesla battery, is superior to other companies and their models, including Ford Mustang Mach E, which is a direct competitor to the Model Y.

Tesla is the only automaker to use cylindrical battery cells in its battery packs. Other automakers use battery packs that include pouch or prismatic battery cells.

According to the CNBC, Cairn Energy Research Advisors, a consulting company specializing in electric vehicle battery research, says that for Tesla, the cost of a cylindrical battery fell to $158.27 per kWh last year, a decrease of more than $100 per kWh compared with 4 years earlier.

At the same time, according to Cairn, in 2019, batteries made by other manufacturers using a different technology, cost an average of more than $200 per kWh.

“Tesla simply has been engineering these packs longer than its competitors, and therefore it has a technology lead that is significant,” said Sam Jaffe, Cairn’s managing director.

Tesla's engineering advantage, according to Jaffe, is the automaker’s use of more advanced cylindrical battery cells and its battery management system, software that controls the car’s battery.

“Tesla has really revolutionized that part of the battery pack and made it much more sophisticated, and it gives them the competitive advantage,” said Jaffe.

Tesla are able to get more range out of the same kWh batteries. For example, a Porsche Taycan has a battery of 95 kWh, while the mileage is only 200 miles, while the Tesla has almost 400 miles.

Matt Joyce/Twitter posted an updated EV Core Efficiency table.

If we rely on Cairn research, we can make some calculations. For comparison, let's take the Tesla Model Y and its direct competitor Ford Mustang Mach E.

With a Model Y battery at 75 kWh and a production cost of $158.27 per kWh, it turns out that the battery cost for this model is $11,870.

At the same time, for Mach E, with a production cost of $200 per kWh, a battery of 75 kWh will cost $15,000. But, this car has a battery of 99 kWh, which means that the cost of this battery will be $19800.

Model Y and Mach E have approximately the same cost, but the basic costs of producing batteries are significantly different. In the same way that the EPA range is different, it’s 315 miles for Model Y, and only 300 miles for Mach E. Also, thanks to the excellent engineering and technological developments of Tesla, the efficiency of their battery is much higher. Model Y achieves EPA 315 miles range on a car with 25% smaller battery than the Mach E for almost the same cost.

This is an incredible superiority that puts Tesla several years ahead of its competitors. The success of the company in creating more powerful batteries and at a lower price encourages other automakers to spend billions of dollars on battery research and development.

All analysts admit that Tesla’s success is incredibly huge. “At core there is really incredible battery technology within the organization and that is material science that they have been working on for well over a decade. We think they have some substantial advantages on that,” said Colin Rusch, auto analyst for Oppenheimer.

Previously, other automakers laughed at Tesla and its CEO Elon Musk, but now the situation has changed dramatically. Any of them now understands that the California company has made a breakthrough in the field of batteries. And this is just the beginning. Tesla will soon release information on a new breakthrough in battery development.

"Battery Day people. Wait until Battery Day. It's gonna blow your mind. It blows my mind, and I know it!" said Mr. Musk.

 Featured image: AutoMoto Tale

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