During Tesla’s annual shareholder’s meeting and Battery Day 2020 event, Tesla CEO Elon Musk outlined an extensive plan to produce Tesla’s most affordable $25,000 car with fully autonomous driving capability in three years.
The event was held on September 22, 2020 at Tesla factory in Fremont, California. From Tesla’s newest technologies to recent EV updates, here are the roundup of the most important details of the event:
Tesla’s innovation for new battery
Typical EV batteries consist of a tab that joins the copper foil anode and aluminum foil cathode together. These tabs are difficult to produce and limits the battery’s efficiency. Tesla’s solution of manufacturing a ‘tabless’ battery shouldl boost its EV’s performance, range and production.
According to Musk, the larger ‘tabless’ cells will have shorter path length than a smaller cells with tab. He also added that it will be bigger but will have a better power-to-weight ratio.
Benefits of Tesla’s plan of manufacturing “tabless” batteries:
- Lower the price of Tesla electric cars comparable to gasoline-powered cars.
- Reduce Tesla’s cost per kilowatt hour, a metric used to measure EV’s battery packs.
- Increase battery power by six times and range by 16%.
Tesla plans to eliminate the use of cobalt in its cathodes
Most lithium-ion batteries found in EVs nowadays use a cathode made from lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide known as NMC. The cobalt-free cathodes have been in the EV industry for a while but typically come with shorter battery life and less energy density trade-off.
Tesla is now also focusing on improving its cathode chemistry. Their plan is to use cheaper and lighter nickel-rich cathode which also must not arouse any inhuman act of sourcing. Musk said that he wanted to eliminate entirely the use of cobalt in its cathodes in the past. Cobalt is often mined and linked to unethical mining practices in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Although Musk confirmed that this will make batteries significantly cheaper, he doesn’t disclose any timeline when will the company stop using NMC.
“It’s absolutely critical that we make cars that people can actually afford. Affordability is key to how we scale.” he said.
Tesla enters the world of battery production
Tesla is currently purchasing batteries from other companies like Panasonic and LG. Although Musk acknowledged that Tesla would continue to purchase batteries from these suppliers, he said that these companies wouldn’t be able to meet Tesla’s growing appetite.
According to Musk, Tesla will build a new cathode plant for its batteries in North America. The company also acquired a 10,000-acre mining site to increase the battery components in-house production.
Tesla claimed that by 2030, considering all their innovations are complete, they would be able to produce 3 terawatt-hours of energy every year.
Musk teases the attendees with the introduction of the company’s newest Model S Plaid. The Model S variant will have a range of 520 miles, 200mph top speed, and can accelerate from 0-60mph in under two seconds. The Plaid will be available at a price of $139,990 not until late 2021. You can click here for more information about this jaw-dropping Model S variant.
Tesla’s most affordable $25,000 EV plan
The Tesla 3 was Tesla’s cheapest EV priced at $35,000 during its release in February 2019. Musk indicated before that Tesla wouldn’t likely make a car that cost any less than that of Tesla 3. He also explained that the plan will be successful depending on Tesla’s project to halve the cost of its cells per kilowatt-hour through their supply chain and manufacturing process.
Reducing the cost of its battery cells and packs will also help Tesla in achieving its end goal of building a $25,000 EV. According to Musk, Using new “tabless” battery cells and changing the materials inside the cell should allow Tesla to ‘halve’ the price per kilowatt-hour.
This is not the first time Musk promised to reduce the costs of its electric cars . In 2018, he predicted that Tesla will have a $25,000 EV to be possible within three years.
Tesla doesn’t yet have a name for the $25,000 car that will be on the same stage of those internal-combustion vehicles. Although Musk claimed that this cheaper EV will be capable of driving fully autonomously, the project will not be as easy as you think. This is because sensors required for even partly autonomous vehicles are expensive. The company also experienced unforeseen challenges on its fully-autonomous driving software .
The promised EV by Tesla will be expected to arrive in 2023. And when that time comes, how do you think it would impact the EV market? Will it have a big blast like what the Model S did in 2012 and Model 3 in 2017?