- Elon Musk is set to take the stage tonight for the big announcement in the battery technology.
- The “Battery Day” presentation is now anticipated by many to showcase some innovations in the battery chemistry, which Elon Musk has been hinting.
- The first-ever Battery Day is picking traction among the investing community as the tech giant would stake out its technology roadmap.
- While a lot could be expected from today’s presentation by Elon Musk, one thing which has been taking a strong root at the very heart of many groups across the globe is the “Million Miles” battery.
Elon Musk is set to take the stage tonight for the big announcement in the battery technology, aimed at bringing the running cost of EV on par with the internal combustion engine (or ICE). The chief executive of Tesla has been dropping hints for the million miles battery on various platforms for months. The stock has been on a exponential ride c the beginning of this year, making it the worlds biggest auto company by market capitalisation.
To Know More, Do Read: Tesla Million Mile Battery, GM Ultium, and the Position of Lithium Mining Community
The “Battery Day” presentation is now anticipated by the market to showcase some innovations in the battery chemistry, which Elon Musk has been hinting. Drop in cost is anticipated thanks to the reduction in the cobalt content.
Cobalt has been under the limelight for many reasons, primarily due to its high price and unethical mining practices at the Democratic Republic of Congo (or DRC), apparently one of the largest suppliers to the global cobalt supply chain.
The first-ever Battery Day is picking traction among the investing community as the tech giant would stake out its technology roadmap, and a slight difference in the battery technology or any efforts to bring its running cost in par with the ICE could have a huge impact on the future of the EV industry, as batteries are the most expensive part of an electric car.
A lot of questions, such as if Elon Musk would revel various disruptive innovations such as the hyperloop underground tech? or would shine the light on the million-mile battery he has been talking about all these months? Or would he talk about how economical the Tesla models could now be for the general public, are taking surface. Who knows? But one thing which could be said is that it would be a jam-packed day for the tech-longing society.
Thus, apart from investors who are placing strategic bets on the future of the EV industry, the day marks its importance for tech-savvy lot, the general public, and society.
And one thing which could be said today is that every eye across the globe, some way or the other would be looking at the Tesla CEO!!
While a lot could be expected from today’s presentation by Elon Musk, one thing which has been taking a strong root at the very heart of many groups across the globe is the “Million Miles” battery.
Battery Chemistry – the Forerunner of the Cost Curve
Typically, a Tesla Model 3 uses a single lithium-ion battery pack, with 4 smaller modules with each module containing seven hundred to a thousand cylindrical cells.
The cost-cutting of an ideal battery mainly varies with the composition of cathodes. For example, Panasonic which supplies cylindrical battery cells to Tesla, makes a cathode from a variety of base metals, mainly nickel, aluminium, and small amounts of cobalt (AKA NCA cathode).
Likewise, CATL, which supplies Tesla with battery cells in a flat format called prismatic, uses a different cathode composition that includes lithium-ion and phosphate (AKA LFP chemistry). The change in the battery chemistry usually leads to the fluctuation in the cost with LFP battery, that does not contain cobalt, is cheaper than the NAC chemistry.
- However, with the change in the battery chemistry, the range also fluctuates, a battery with NCA cathode providing much higher range against LFP batteries.
Thus, the market is waiting eagerly to see how Tesla would come up with the chemistry that would suit both the pocket and the road.
The million-mile battery, which Tesla claims to be more efficient and less costly would head-on with the NCA chemistry that drives up to ~ 400 miles and the LFP chemistry that drives up to ~ 300 miles.
- On the cost counter, the million-mile battery is also anticipated by the market to challenge the cost curve of traditional battery chemistries. A lithium-ion battery cell costs around USD 100 per kilowatt hour, which along with other battery management systems, such as the cooling system, costs ~ USD 125 per kilowatt hour to USD 130 per kilowatt hour.
- Today’s battery packs cost ~ USD 10,000 to USD 12,000, which Tesla plans to bring down below drastically to fight the intensifying competition in the EV space.
The latest example of such a competition is the Ultium battery of General Motors (Or GM).
Furthermore, the Battery Day as a whole is also getting traction as the new innovation in this space has the potential to bring a cascade of changes in other spaces as well, particularly on how investors would see the lithium mining companies across the globe, and the future direction of the current lithium downturn.
There is no investor left unperturbed with the ongoing trade conflicts between US-China and the devastating bushfire in Australia.
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