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How Tesla Could Improve Its Million Mile Battery With Maxwell's Dry Battery Electrode Technology

by Ma. Claribelle Deveza May 14, 2020

tesla-battery-cells-maxwell-tech

Tesla's Battery Day event could be a few weeks away. As such, it may be worth discussing Tesla's million-mile battery again--possibly an even better versions of it--and its benefits.

HyperChange (HC) and The Limiting Factor (TLF) outlined most of the benefits of Tesla using Maxwell's dry battery electrode technology in its cell production line. Just last week, HyperChange discovered Tesla job listings that indicate the EV automaker has a pilot battery cell manufacturing line at Fremont. More information on the rumored battery assembly line could be divulged during Battery Day

What's Better Than A Million-Mile Battery?

During his talk with HyperChange, The Limiting Factor explained the difference between the traditional process of manufacturing batteries and Maxwell's dry battery electrode technology. 

"Currently, batteries use what's called a wet slurry technology to coat the electrode foils for a battery. What they do is they mix a super toxic solvent with some binder, with some carbon and with the active material. And then they run it through a drying line and those drying lines are hundreds of feet long and consume huge amounts of energy," he explained.  

In contrast, a binder, the carbon material, and the active material are mixed up in Maxwell's dry electrode technology, resulting in a dough or bubblegum-like substance which will run through a machine similar to an extruder. One of the benefits of using dry battery technology would be that it decreased the degradation of batteries. TLF elaborated in his explanation that the wet slurry and toxic solvent cause degradation in the battery, which compounds over time. 

With TLF's explanation in mind, HyperChange linked Maxwell's technology to Tesla's million-mile battery. However, TLF explained Tesla's million-mile battery, which is based on Jeff Dahn's research, used wet slurry technology. He mused at the possibility of a battery reach more than a million-mile life expectancy if Tesla were to use both Jeff Dahn's research and Maxwell's technology for its battery cell manufacturing line. 

Benefits Of Using Maxwell's Dry Battery Technology

The Limiting Factor enumerated other benefits to Tesla using Maxwell's dry battery technology, some of which are listed below: 

  1. Maxwell's dry battery technology might increase energy density by at least 20%-30%. TLF speculated that there are several ways Tesla's improved battery could benefit consumers. If Tesla was "able to increase the energy density and reduce cost by 20 to 30 percent, then I think [it will] kind of split the difference," he shared. "I think maybe half will go to the bottom line and then half will go to increasing people's vehicle range. Or maybe it'll depend on the model of vehicle. Maybe the S and the X, [Tesla will] keep pushing the range up, but the Model 3 [Tesla will] keep increasing the margins. And they have a nice healthy margin."
  2. Consumers could see an increase in charging speed with Maxwell's DBE tech.
  3. Building battery packs could be cheaper. "Oh, yeah, absolutely. Especially if those lines can crank out two, three, four times what the Panasonic lines can crank out even at a smaller scale, they should be able to be competitive or beat Panasonic's price model," replied TLF when HC asked him about the manufacturing cost benefits of using Maxwell's tech.

Featured Image Credit: Tesla




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