Published on 26 September 2020 |
by Zachary Shahan
September 26, 2020 of Zachary Shahan
Tesla’s Battery Day presentation is packed with tons of information. At the bottom of this article, I will add some of the articles we have published that have tried to summarize, further explain and expose the Battery Day event. First, however, there is one point that has not been made clear in the presentation that the CEO of Tesla Elon Musk just confirmed on Twitter.
The Battery Day presentation caused some people to think Tesla was already producing some of its homemade batteries for use in Tesla cars, it left other people thinking that Tesla was still a long way from bringing its own cells into cars. and let others think Tesla was already pumping. 10 gigawatt-hours of batteries per year and putting them in new Tesla vehicles. What Elon Musk just made clear on Twitter is that Tesla’s new batteries are actually in cars on the road today – well, actually, the cars that have been on the road for the past few months. (Remember that Battery Day should have happened several months ago.) What is not entirely clear here is whether these are consumer vehicles or test vehicles still owned by Tesla, but I assume the latter.
Providers. We’re just making high energy nickel ourselves, at least for now. Also, perhaps the presentation was unclear as to whether we actually had our cells in packs driving cars for several months. Prototypes are trivial, mass production is difficult.
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 26, 2020
The last line of that tweet also implies that the company is still a long way from mass production. Having prototype cells in cars is a minimal achievement in Elon’s eyes, compared to the challenge of high-volume production of those cells and bringing them into thousands upon thousands of vehicles every month. It seems that, since he sees the prototypes as “trivial”, it was not a highlight of the presentation.
For a lot more information on these cells, Kyle Field wrote an in-depth piece for us that I recommend reading: “Everything You Need to Know About Tesla’s New 4680 Battery Cell.”
As for Tesla’s battery manufacturing capacity and where it is at the moment, Musk and Tesla CTO Drew Baglino explained where Tesla is today and where he intends to be in the short term.
“This isn’t just a concept or a rendering,” Baglino said. “We are starting to ramp up production of these cells in our 10 GWh pilot production plant just around the corner.”
“It will take a while to get to 10 GWh [annualized] production capacity, “Musk added, noting that the company expects to achieve that production capacity within the next 12 months.” Actual production facilities will be on the order of 200 GWh or more over time. “
Musk’s comments on the challenges of high-volume production come from several years of production experience, including several busy years. But as I noted two days ago, Tesla’s 10 GWh “pilot plant” would actually be the 13th largest lithium-ion battery factory in the world if it were online tomorrow. So, Tesla expects to pump a significant flow of battery cells over the next few months, whether it’s called a full-blown factory or a “pilot” plant. In the meantime, it has much bigger plans than that, plans that could even make it the largest lithium-ion battery maker in the world.
For more information on these topics, I recommend reading:
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