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Panasonic plans to increase the energy density of Tesla batteries by 20%. Commercial cobalt-free batteries for 2-3 years.
Jul 31,2020 08:25CST
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SMM: according to reports, Yasuaki Takamoto, head of Panasonic's electric vehicle battery business in the United States, said that the company plans to increase the energy density of the "2170" battery supplied to Tesla by 20% within five years, and to commercialize cobalt-free batteries within "2 to 3 years".

Panasonic is the world's leading supplier of batteries for electric vehicles, and this is the first time the company has set these goals. Panasonic's move will set new standards for the battery industry and help the company maintain a leading position in the highly competitive battery industry.

In 2017, Tesla Model 3 began to use Panasonic's "2170" Ni-Co-Al (NCA) ternary lithium cell. The researchers say the cell already has the highest energy density on the market, more than 700 watt-hours per liter. If the energy density can be further increased, the maximum mileage of electric vehicles on a single charge will also be further increased. In addition, it also helps to reduce the size of the vehicle battery, so that the vehicle has more spacious interior space.

On the other hand, the cobalt-free battery can also make the battery no longer dependent on cobalt metal, and the cost of cobalt material is high, which can make the chemical properties of the battery more stable. However, there are moral problems in the process of cobalt metal mining. Congo is the largest producer of cobalt metal raw materials in the world, and the working conditions of the country are controversial in the international community. Tesla CEO Elon Musk (Elon Musk) has long said he wants to use cobalt-free cells in his products.

Takamoto said it had reduced the cobalt content in its NCA cells to less than 5 per cent and planned to improve its battery products in phases. But Panasonic declined to say which future models its future batteries will be used in Tesla.

Earlier, Panasonic lost its status as an exclusive battery supplier to Tesla, and Intezra also reached a partnership with South Korean battery company LG Chemical and Chinese company Ningde Times. Ningde Times will supply Tesla with low-cost lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries, which are also cobalt-free.

"2170" cell

Panasonic has developed a technology that can increase the energy density of "2170" cells by more than 5 per cent. Starting in September, Panasonic will revamp the production line at its joint venture with Tesla in Nevada to further increase the energy density of batteries, Takamoto said. In order to control the safety risks caused by high density and low cobalt content, Panasonic is adjusting the composition of the cell chemicals and the design of the cell to improve its thermal stability, Takamoto said.

Tesla will hold Battery Day on Sept. 22, after Musk promised to announce major battery progress at the event. Tesla plans to release a new battery later this year or early next year, which was developed by Tesla in cooperation with the Ningde era and will have a service life of 1 million miles (1.6 million kilometers).

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