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Tesla completes acquisition of Maxwell, officially takes over the battery technology

After a few months of formalities, Tesla announced today that it has finally completed its acquisition of Maxwell and it will officially be able to take over its battery technology.

Earlier this year, Tesla announced the acquisition of the San Diego-based ultracapacitor and battery company Maxwell for over $200 million.

We later learned that Tesla and Maxwell had discussions for years over potential opportunities between the two companies, but Tesla became serious about acquiring them in December 2018.

The two companies negotiated over the price of the acquisition months before agreeing, but even then some investors weren’t happy and they sued to block the transaction.

Earlier this week, Tesla announced its final offer to acquire Maxwell and the transaction was finally completed last night.

Tesla said in a press release today:

“Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) today announced the successful completion of its previously announced offer to exchange all outstanding shares of common stock of Maxwell Technologies, Inc. (“Maxwell”) for 0.0193 of a share of Tesla common stock, together with cash in lieu of any fractional shares of Tesla common stock, without interest and less any applicable withholding taxes.”

The automaker is transferring stocks worth just over $235 million to take control of the company.

It is believed that Tesla is after the company’s intellectual property. Maxwell is best-known as an ultracapacitor manufacturer, but it has also recently been discussing a dry electrode technology for batteries.

Based on Maxwell’s reports, the technology is promising when it comes to increasing the performance of Li-ion battery cells.

Electrek’s Take

Finally, now things could get interesting. With Tesla transferring the shares, they now take control of the company and their IP.

The automaker finds itself with a new ultracapacitor business, but I somehow doubt that that’s the reason behind the acquisition.

Maxwell claims that its dry electrode tech enables an energy density of over 300 Wh/kg in current demonstration cells and they see a path to over 500 Wh/kg.

That’s believed to be about 15 to 100 percent better than Tesla’s current technology.

They also demonstrate close to 90% capacity retention after almost 1,500 cycles and their cells maintain their capacity at higher discharge rates and much better than the same cells without their dry electrode.

What’s most interesting is that Maxwell makes it sound like it could be easily integrated into the production of current Li-ion cells with no big impact on cost.

Maybe we could see this technology make its way to Tesla vehicles quickly.

CEO Elon Musk recently said that Tesla might hold a presentation about their latest battery development later this year or early next year. I wouldn’t be surprised if it coincides with the implementation of that technology.

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Avatar for Fred Lambert Fred Lambert

Fred is the Editor in Chief and Main Writer at Electrek.

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