Goal One: Terawatt-hour Scale Battery ProductionA Terawatt is 1000x more than a Gigawatt, which Tesla previously focused on.It would take 20-25 Terawatt hours per year sustained for 20-25 years to transition the world to renewable energy.
Goal One Problem: Today’s battery factories cannot scale fast enough.
Goal Two: More Affordable CellsTesla’s goal is to release a “truly affordable” vehicle in the futureThe curve of cost per kWh is not improving fast enough“We have a plan to halve the cost of kWh”Tesla thought through every element of the battery to make it more affordable.A battery confines negative and positive terminals, with a tab and a jelly rollWhen the cell is discharged, lithium moves from cathode to anode; conversely, when a cell is charged lithium moves from anode to cathodeGoing forward, Tesla is using 2179 batteries (bringing 50% more energy into the cell compared to 1865)“The challenge with big cells is Supercharging”Tesla engineering developed tab-less larger cells with a better power to weight ratio, “massive breakthrough”New cell design 4680: 5x energy, +16% range, 6x power (these numbers refer only to this particular innovation, the total improvement is even higher once cumulatively added up)14% reduction in cost with the new cell designCell factories contain an electrode process, winding, assembly, and formationElectrode – Wet Process: water or solvent mixing, coat and dry oven, solvent recovery, then coated foil is compressed to the final densityDry Electrode process brings significant savings, but “simple is hard”7x increase in line output with a new high-speed continuous motion assemblyFremont is at 2-3% volume efficiency, possible to be 10x betterGoal is to achieve with one factory what it would normally take 5-10 factories to achieveEvery car company will eventually have long-range electric cars and autonomy, but Tesla wants to be above every other company in manufacturingFormation: initial process of charging and discharging cells75% reduction in formation footprint4x better than the current state-of-the-art electronicsNow possible to get a terawatt hour in less space than 150 gigawatt hoursThe change in anode materials lends itself to a 32% total reduction in costTesla is designing around silicon expansion, and using raw silicon to increase range by 20%Tesla silicon: $1.2/kWhAnother 5% reduction brings the total reduction to 37%Maximize nickel, remove cobalt for a 15% reduction in cobalt costsDirectly consuming nickel powder eliminates billions in mining/recyclingLocalizing the cathode supply chain and production reduces miles traveled by 80%Sulfate-free process: 33% reduction in lithium costThere’s enough lithium on earth to convert every car to electricSignificant untapped lithium in clayTesla discovered it’s possible to obtain lithium from ore using table salt (using a very environmentally sensitive mining process)Recycling elements from cells is far more desirable than from raw oresRecycled cells: 20% nickel, 2.7% lithium, 2% cobaltLong-term: new batteries will come from old batteriesAdditional 12% reduction brings the kWh cost reduction to 49%Single-piece casting for the front body and rear body, Tesla commissioned the “largest casting machine that’s ever been made”Tesla developed their own alloy that requires no heat treating or coatingsThe front and rear of the car is manufactured as a single piece, with the battery also serving as a structural useStructural batteries improve mass and range, with more densely-packed cells“The pack itself is structural,” cells are glued to the top and bottom sheets.Revolution in Body + Battery engineering: 10% mass reduction, 14% range increase opportunity, 370 fewer parts“Long-term any cars that do not take this architecture will not be competitive” 55% reduction in investment per GWH (Gigawatt hour)
Total benefits of Tesla’s new battery cells:
54% increase in range
56% reduction in cost per kWh
69% reduction in investment per GWH
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