Poised to be one of the biggest EV events of the year, Tesla’s “Battery Day” event is upon us, here’s what we’re expecting from Elon Musk’s flagship event.
In typical Elon Musk style, the Silicon Valley entrepreneur has been building plenty of hype for Battery Day across his social media accounts.
According to Elon, Battery Day will bring “many exciting things” and says that the products and inventions unveiled will “blow your mind… it blows my mind, and I know it!”
Elon Musk sets expectations for Battery Day
Managing to somehow both build hype and settle expectations within one tweet, Musk declared “This affects long-term production, especially Semi, Cybertruck & Roadster, but what we announce will not reach serious high-volume production until 2022.”
From that and several other tweets, it sounds like we’re in for a few big surprises from the Battery Day event. Choosing to mention Semi, Cybertruck and Roadster is also an interesting choice, as these are as-yet-unreleased products.
Perhaps there will be news on the battery tech used within these products, or maybe even an update on the construction times for those who have pre-ordered their vehicles.
The million mile battery?
One of the standout rumors for Battery Day is the talk of Tesla trying to build a ‘million mile battery.’
Referencing the lifespan of the battery before it needs to be replaced, Tesla are hoping that by increasing the lifespan of a battery, more people will adopt EVs before it becomes mandatory.
The aim is to make battery cars appear as ‘lifetime vehicles’ in the same way that a well-maintained combustion engined car would appear. With a lifespan of a million miles, that gives a lifespan of roughly 76 years – far more than the rest of the car would survive for.
As reported by Reuters earlier in 2019, Tesla’s ‘million mile’ battery will be a joint collaboration with Chinese battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd (CATL).
This new technology would also theoretically bring down Tesla’s cost per kilowatt-hour. Should it be successful, Tesla may well be able to pass the savings on to the consumer, and be able to sell their EVs for the price of a similar-spec gasoline car.
Tesla to manufacture batteries in-house?
Speaking of batteries, there is also a substantial rumour that Tesla will make the shift to in-house battery manufacturing – could this be announced during the September 22 event?
Tesla currently source their batteries from outside companies, including their so-called ‘2170 cells’ which are produced by Panasonic.
Despite being produced at Tesla’s gigafactory in Nevada, demand can outstrip supply. In 2018, supply shortages caused havoc during production of the Model 3, with Musk publicly blaming battery issues for ‘constraining production’ of the Model 3 and Model Y.
With many recent tech acquisitions, patents filed and public studies published by Tesla’s Head of Battery Research Jeff Dahn, it seems that Tesla may be making the shift to in-house battery production.
Battery Day would be the perfect time to announce this, and the time it takes to get factories up-and-running would explain Musk’s earlier tweet about an announcement “affecting long-term production.”
The end of Cobalt in Tesla Batteries?
Cobalt is a rare metal that is used in the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries such as those used in Teslas, but the mining of such materials is hugely controversial. It is hugely expensive too, and is often the root cause of EVs being so expensive.
Musk has been openly vocal about his dislike for using Cobalt, stating that Tesla currently use less than 3% Cobalt in their batteries, and that next-gen Teslas would reportedly feature Cobalt-free battery technology.
With such a big platform in front of him, Battery Day would be the perfect time for Musk to make the announcement that Tesla are moving away from Cobalt use.
All-new Tesla Terafactories?
When Tesla unveiled their Gigafactory, the world was shocked at the sheer size, volume and capabilities of the unit. Now, Elon seems to suggest that they’re going to one-up themselves.
With Musk implying that Tesla’s next factories will be called ‘Terafactories’ the name change alone suggests an incredible size increase. ‘Giga’ relates to a billion, while ‘Tera’ implies a trillion.
Gigafactories were named as Tesla aimed to produce ‘gigawatt-hours’ of battery capacity. The name change to Terafactories could also be reflection of new lofty power production goals for the electric vehicle company, in line with previous hints from Musk himself.
How to watch Tesla’s Battery Day event
With Battery Day festivities set to kick off at 4:30pm BST starting with a public shareholders meeting, there will be plenty of news and events from the EV giants.
Both events will be live-streamed sequentially from the Tesla Website, and we’ll be bringing you updated coverage from the 2020 Tesla Battery Day event.
Biggest annoucements from Tesla Battery Day
With the event now being over, we’ve rounded up a collection of the biggest announcements from Tesla’s event. From new battery tech to budget EVs, there were plenty of big annoucements and promises from Mr Musk himself.
Improved range from in-house batteries
Tesla confirmed rumors that they are indeed making a shift towards in-house battery production at the event. The plan is to manufacture ‘tabless’ batteries in-house, which will bring both cost benefits and improved range for the vehicles they are used in.
Labeled ‘4860 cells’ the tabless batteries will be six times more powerful than their current equivalents, and increase range up to 16%.
Tesla Model S Plaid Powertrain
One of the biggest announcements from the event was the unveiling of the ‘plaid’ powertrain for the Model S. Costing $139,990, the Plaid Model S will be sat above the ‘ludicrous’ model in the range, and promises hair-raising performance capabilities.
Smashing 0-60 in under 2 seconds and with an alleged top speed of over 200mph, it will be knocking on the door of the Porsche Taycan’s fanbase to try and convert customers over to the Tesla brand.
We will be seeing a $25,000 Tesla in the future
In a bid to transform the accessibility of EVs, Elon Musk says that the goal is to build a “$25,000 Tesla.”
Utilizing the aforementioned ‘tabless’ batteries and new manufacturing processes, Tesla aims to “halve” the cost per kilowatt-hour of their cars, bringing the retail price down to starter-car levels.
Having promised a $25,000 EV back in 2018 and saying it will be available within 3 years, Musk may well be on track to stick to his words.