With the rise and fall of battery-swap company Better Place in 2013, the prospect of mass-scale swappable EV battery packs in the US fell by the wayside. Tesla abandoned the idea a few years later. The big problem (among many) was a lack of common battery standards across multiple automakers. Battery packs need to be the same size and shape. That’s an issue that could be solved in China, where strong state control can dictate standards.
battery Stories January 17
battery Stories May 15, 2019
The Chinese government claims a new technological breakthrough pushes lithium production prices to a record low, which could have a big effect on electric car battery costs.
battery Stories May 13, 2019
A new Li-ion battery technology developed by the US Army has piqued the interest of Jeff Dahn, Tesla’s main battery research partner. expand full story
battery Stories January 30, 2017
Profitable production of electric vehicles is highly important. Our capitalist society revolves around profitability and therefore, if electric vehicles are to prevail over gas-powered cars, they need to be profitable to manufacture in mass.
A new study published this month by McKinsey & Company and embedded below looks into how automakers can move past producing EVs as compliance cars and “drive electrified vehicle sales and profitability”. Unsurprisingly, it describes battery economics as an important barrier to profitability and though the research firm sees a path to automakers making a profit selling electric vehicles as battery costs fall, it doesn’t see that happening for “the next two to three product cycles” – or between 2025 and 2030. expand full story
battery Stories September 1, 2016
Back in May, we shared a report from German newspaper Handelsblatt, which has often produced reliable insider reports on the German auto industry, citing insider sources saying that Volkswagen was about to present to its board of directors a plan to build a ‘multi-billion euro battery factory’.
In a new interview with the same newspaper this week, VW CEO Matthias Müller denies plans for the giant electric vehicle battery factory. expand full story
battery Stories August 19, 2016
As always, a healthy dose of skepticism is important when it comes to an alleged “battery breakthrough”. Those announcements are being made every 2-3 months over the last decade and rarely anything comes to it, but at least we can always rely on the 5-8% annual incremental improvements in li-ion battery capacity. It’s not a “breakthrough” or doubling of capacity, but it adds up.
Now it’s time for another MIT spinout, after the defunct A123 Systems, to claim to have created the next battery breakthrough with an anode-free li-metal battery that could achieve an energy density of up to 500 Wh/kg – about twice the capacity of the current cells found in Tesla’s vehicles for example. expand full story
battery Stories July 8, 2016
The Tesla Model 3’s $35,000 price tag will be enabled in part due to a significant reduction in battery cost through the automaker’s partnership with Panasonic on the Gigafactory in Nevada. While Tesla owns and operates the giant battery factory, Panasonic is still in charge of battery cell production at the plant, which Tesla then uses to make battery packs for its vehicles.
With the strong demand for Tesla’s vehicles, Panasonic now says that it expects its battery sales to double within the next 3 years – or after the first full planned year of Model 3 production. expand full story
battery Stories June 23, 2016
For the most part, Tesla’s Gigafactory has looked the same from the outside since the beginning of the year. The first phase consists of 4 sections of about 475,000 square feet for a total of 1.9 million square feet. The final version of the building, which should be completed by the end of the decade, is expected to have 13 million square feet of manufacturing and work space. It should be enough to become the biggest building on earth by footprint and Tesla plans for the factory to produce at least as much battery capacity as the entire world production of li-ion cells.
Now we learn that Tesla is planning to add a new section to the plant with an estimated completion date by the end of the year, according a building permit recently issued to Tesla. expand full story
battery Stories May 31, 2016
During the 2016 Shareholders Meeting today, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that the company could triple the total planned battery output of the Gigafactory to ~105 GWh of cells and ~150 GWh of battery packs – or over 3 times the current total li-ion battery production worldwide.
The new potential total capacity would be based on the current planned factory of 13 million sq-ft – with no expansion needed. Musk revealed a few other tidbits of information about the plant during the meeting. expand full story
battery Stories May 20, 2016
During the recent conference call with analysts for Tesla’s first quarter 2016, co-founder and CTO JB Straubel said that we shouldn’t focus too much on Tesla’s previously stated goal of 35 GWh of battery cell production at the Gigafactory, and 50 GWh of battery pack output.
Straubel said that Tesla was prepared to adjust the battery factory output according to the higher than anticipated demand for the Model 3 after the company received over 373,000 pre-orders. Tesla’s battery output at the factory depends significantly on Panasonic and now the Japanese battery maker says that it would move up its investment schedule if asked by Tesla. expand full story