Photo courtesy of Tesla, Inc.
Tesla is planning to make some changes to its revolutionary product, Powerwall. Having released an updated version in the fall of 2020, conditionally named Powerwall 2 Plus, the company continued to improve. Tesla Powerwall 3 should hit the market in spring 2022 with improved efficiency, storage capacity, and lower cost.
Sawyer Merritt/Twitter reported that Tesla Powerwall 3 should hit the market in spring 2022. Tesmanian sources also confirmed that this will happen in 2022, although the exact time of its appearance on the market has not been disclosed. However, it seems that this will not be just a product update with some improvements, but a major overhaul.
Tesla is currently working with Panasonic to manufacture Nickel Cobalt Aluminum (NCA) batteries at the Gigafactory in Nevada and buys Nickel, Manganese, and Cobalt (NMC) batteries from LG Chem in China. The company uses such batteries for its Powerwalls as well. This is a good solution for electric vehicles, but it is not the best solution for energy storage systems, since the use of these materials increases the cost of the product without bringing corresponding benefits.
The bulk and cost per cell fall on the cathode, Tesla CEO Elon Musk explained during the Q1 2021 Earnings Call. For high-energy cells, such as those that the company uses in most of the cars it produces, nickel-based lithium-ion cells are utilized. They have a higher energy density and yield longer range than iron-based cells. However, for stationary storage, the energy density is not that important because it just stays on the ground. That is why the vast majority of stationary storage facilities produced by the company will technically be iron-based lithium-ion cells with an iron phosphate cathode. In fact, the phosphate part is not needed and it's just iron or nickel, Musk explained.
"However, stationary storage, the energy density is not as important because it's just staying on the ground and so I think the vast majority of stationary storage will be iron-based lithium-ion cells with an iron phosphate cathode, technically. But the phosphate part is unnecessary. It's really just the iron or nickel."
The elimination of the controversial cobalt from batteries in Powerwalls makes production not only more affordable from a financial point of view but also more acceptable from a moral one. Another factor is that the availability of such materials is relatively low, while iron is a very common material. Thus, the production of energy storage with cobalt-free lithium iron phosphate batteries, which is likely to be used for Powerwall 3 will solve several serious problems and lead to a quality, cheaper, and uncontested product.
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