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Non-polar ears, large cells and high-nickel batteries are all here! What other surprises did Tesla release on Battery Day?
Sep 23,2020 09:24CST
The content below was translated by Tencent automatically for reference.

SMM News: September 23rd 4RU 30, Tesla shareholders' meeting and Battery Day activities were officially held. At this Battery Day event, Tesla CEO Elon Musk (Elon Musk) proposed multiple innovations in battery shape, process and materials. These innovations will effectively reduce battery manufacturing costs and improve battery life and power.

Although Tesla's shares rose nearly 5 per cent at one point at the start of the battery day, Tesla's shares fell more than 5 per cent by the end of the battery day. Market analysts believe that Musk did not mention the much-anticipated "million-mile battery" in Battery Day, which may disappoint the market.

In spite of this, the technological breakthrough proposed by Tesla at this press conference is enough to surprise people. In addition, Tesla also expressed strong confidence in the development of electric vehicles and highly optimistic expectations for the future global battery demand, and announced that a model based on new technology will be launched at a price of $25000 in the next three years. For investors, it is still worthwhile to look forward to the future of Tesla with optimism.

Battery shape: non-polar ear and large cell

As expected by the market, Tesla made an innovation in the shape of the battery.

First of all, Tesla plans to adopt non-polar ear design in the future. In the original battery structure, the current had to flow through the pole ear to reach the connector outside the battery unit. However, when the current must flow all the way along the cathode or anode to the ear and out of the battery unit, the resistance increases with the increase of the distance. In addition, since the polar ear is an additional part, the cost is increased. The use of electrodeless ear batteries will simplify the manufacturing process and reduce resistance.

Secondly, Tesla adopted a large cell design. Previously, the size of Tesla's battery has increased from 1865 to 2170 (the first two digits are diameter and the last two digits are length), and will now be increased to "4680". The energy of the "4680" battery has been increased by 5 times, the mileage has been increased by 16%, and the power has been increased by 6 times. At the same time, due to solving the problem of continuous production, the speed of the Tesla battery production line has been increased 7 times. The new "4680 battery" will take about a year to reach 1 gigawatt of capacity.

Optimization of car body and battery manufacturing process

In the car manufacturing process, Tesla envisioned that the battery would be built directly into the car structure, an innovation inspired by the fuel tank on the wing of the aircraft. The structural battery will reduce the overall weight of the vehicle, reduce the total number of parts required (by 370 parts) and speed up production. And most importantly, it will reduce the cost per kilowatt-hour by 7%.

In terms of battery manufacturing technology, Tesla uses dry electrode technology and continuous processing to reduce costs. Tesla in conventional battery manufacturing, manufacturers usually need to apply a solvent with an adhesive to the electrode foil and dry it with a wet paste mixed with negative or positive powder. The so-called "dry electrode technology" means that there is no need to apply wet slurry, that is, there is no need to use solvents. In this way, the speed of battery manufacturing can be accelerated and the cost of battery manufacturing can be reduced.

In the assembly process, Tesla continuous processing and assembly, which makes one assembly line can reach 20Gwhr, single-line output increased 7 times. In the stereotyping process, the complex process is reduced by 75% through the electronic process, and the cost is reduced by 80%.

Tesla put forward the battery capacity target: 2022 100GWh capacity, 2030 3TWh capacity. Among them, 100GWh in 2022 is completely self-produced capacity in addition to working with suppliers. By optimizing this link, battery costs can be reduced by 18%.

Positive electrode: cobalt-free with high nickel

In terms of battery materials, Tesla explored a variety of ideas for abandoning cobalt materials.

From the metal point of view, nickel has the highest energy density and the lowest cost, while the role of cobalt is to stabilize the battery structure, but the cost is high. Tesla points out that very high levels of nickel in the battery can make it possible for the battery to be completely cobalt-free and reduce costs by 15 per cent.

Tesla put forward the exploration ideas of three kinds of cathode materials:

The first is the use of iron in cathode materials, which is applied to some passenger cars.

The second is the use of nickel-manganese materials, such as 2pg 3Ni and 1p 3mn, which are used in major passenger cars and energy storage.

The third, high nickel in absolute sense, is used in energy-intensive vehicles (Cybertruck/Semi).

However, Musk added that the high-nickel battery will not be produced on a large scale until 2022, and Tesla still needs to increase procurement in the Panasonic, LG and Ningde era.

Negative electrode: breakthrough use of raw silicon material

Silicon material has good energy storage effect and large reserves, but it has always been difficult to be used in battery manufacturing because of its thermal expansion. But Musk announced at the press conference that they had made a technological breakthrough to use raw silicon instead of carbon on the anode to make batteries on a large scale.

Musk mentioned that they can solve the problem that silicon expands and contracts when heated by applying an elastic conductive coating on raw silicon.

The raw silicon material will cost the battery as little as $1 per kilowatt-hour and increase its mileage by 20%.

In addition to breakthroughs related to battery technology, Musk also announced Tesla's plans for battery recycling, self-driving technology and new models:

First, start the full life cycle recovery program in the next quarter.

Musk said the company plans to take over and recycle its own batteries. Tesla will start the process at a factory in Nevada. Tesla will use the old battery to create a new battery to improve the environmental impact.

Second: release the beta version of the fully autopilot system Autopilot in the coming month

Musk says the industry average for autopilot is 2.1 accidents per million miles, while the probability of accidents with Tesla Autopilot, is only 0.3 per million miles. Musk said he believes Tesla's self-driving vehicles are 10 times safer than humans.

Three: build a fully self-driving car worth $25000 in three years

Musk said that in about three years, he is confident that he will be able to produce a very attractive fully self-driving car at a price of $25000. At the same time, it hopes to produce about 20 million cars a year, but this may take 1-3 years to achieve.

4: Model S delivery date is scheduled for the end of next year

Tesla scheduled the delivery of the Plaid version of Model S by the end of 2021. This will be Tesla's longest mileage so far, with more than 520 miles (836km). The performance of the model reaches the level of a sports car and can accelerate to 160 mph in less than 2 seconds. The regular version of the model sells for $89490 and the three-motor version costs $134490.

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