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Tesla Next Generation Battery Development, in Colorado?

by Eva Fox February 12, 2020

Tesla Next Generation Battery Development, in Colorado?

Tesla has been working on the development of next gen battery for some time, which will have a large range, a long service life and at the same time its production will be as cheap as possible. Company CEO Elon Musk, during 4Q 2019 earnings call, intrigued us all with the disclosure of stunning information about it during Battery Day.

A few months ago, Tesla posted a job application Cell Technician based in Louisville, Colorado. This was the first mention by the company of this location.

"We are looking for an Engineering Technician to assist anode development and optimization R&D. Candidates should be familiar with Li-ion cell chemistry and have experience building and assembling cells for performance testing. This candidate will be a key member of a cross functional product development team. This job includes the fabrication of laboratory scale Li-ion anodes, electrode processing, laboratory scale Li-ion cell builds, and data analysis. The primary responsibilities of this position will be to assist in experimental planning and to carry out experiments and analysis."

Source: Tesla website

Responsibilities:

  • Tasks including electrode fabrication, delicate assembly of coin cells, cell dissection, running cell tests and data analysis
  • Understand lab-scale electrode slurry mixing and electrode coating
  • Document electrode fabrication and cell build data with the use of travelers and process documents
  • Assembly of a variety of Li-ion cell prototypes including coin cells and small pouch cells
  • Operation and maintenance of laboratory equipment
  • Compile and analyze data and test reports and communicate results with the Tesla team

Requirements:

  • 2+ years working in a technical position in the battery field with experience in a laboratory setting
  • Experience in Li-ion cell builds, including electrode coating and cell assembly and familiarity with quality control methods used to evaluate the repeatability of assembly processes
  • Experience with key points of building a reliable and long-life Li-ion battery
  • Preferred Experience working with silicon, or other alloying, anode materials
  • Must be hands-on (assembly, fabrication/ modification, instrumentation, cell testing)
  • Familiar with battery testing equipment
  • Familiar with MATLAB, Python, and/or similar data analysis tool
The data that can be obtained from this announcement indicate that Tesla is going to test new types of batteries and cells.

This information prompted Gali from HyperChange to conduct a study. He concluded that the responsibilities listed on the website for this post are reminiscent of the work on dry battery technology on that Tesla is working with Maxwell. Dry electrode coating technology was a major breakthrough.

 


According to him, the person Tesla hires in Colorado will try to make new types of batteries using these technologies and will help scale and commercialize some of these batteries. Gali concludes that Louisville has become a breeding ground for next-generation lithium-ion batteries.

He found information that in this location there are 3 startups: Forge Nano, Solid Power and SilLion, which are engaged in the development of technology for dry electrodes and electrolytes, which sounds very similar to what Tesla does with Maxwell.

Gali suggested that Tesla could previously buy one of these small companies. He studied the latest documents that Tesla submitted to the SEC about acquisitions. In addition to the DeepScale, Hibar and Maxwell listed there, the document contains information that implies that the automaker could buy a small company without formally disclosing the acquisition.

The document says that Tesla made various acquisitions related to technology and workforce during the 9 months ended September 30, 2019. The total consideration for these acquisitions was $96 million. Tesla does not talk about this yet, but they can hire an employee specifically for work in the new project.

Source: Hyper Change video

According to one comment, under the video of Hyper Change (provided to us by Gali), Simon Hafner, who is a Tesla research engineer, previously worked for SilLion.

In another comment, we see information that Tyler Evans (Co-founder; CTO at SiILion, Inc.) and Daniela Molina Piper (Co-founder; President & COO at SiILion, Inc.) follow in Linkedin for Tesla. It should be noted that this is the only car company that they follow.

Of course, we don’t know for sure whether this startup is a new acquisition by the automaker, but all this information indirectly indicates the connection between Tesla and SealLine.

Thanks to Gali for contributing to this article.

 

Featured image: Tesla




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