Tesla Battery Day Is Coming
Battery day should be happening soon.
We know that Tesla is secretly working on their Battery day project called The Roadrunner project.
Last year, Musk said that Cybertruck is Tesla’s last product unveil for “a while,” but he teased some upcoming tech announcements.
Those announcements were expected to happen at what Tesla has been referring to as “Powertrain and Battery Investor Day.”
Much like the “Autonomy Day” that happened last year, Tesla said that it is planning to give presentations to investors, which are livestreamed, about the automaker’s latest development in powertrain and battery technology.
Later, Musk referred to the event as the “Tesla April company talk” and said that it would be held at Gigafactory New York, where Tesla plans to offer media and investor tours of the facility.
Last month, Musk updated Tesla’s upcoming event to add that it will focus just on batteries and not powertrain.
During Tesla’s Q1 2020 earnings results, Elon Musk Mentioned:
“Yes. Actually, we don’t want to preempt Battery Day.
At that point, Musk said that it would happen “the third week of May” and it would likely be in California or Texas. As we speculate, Tesla will present the result of its internal secret Roadrunner project at the battery event.
So, what exactly is the Tesla’s roadrunner project?
If combined with mass production, it’s considered the “holy grail” of EV adoption since it would enable high-volume production of relatively affordable and/or high-margin electric cars.
Tesla’s partnership with Panasonic has led to an industry-leading battery cost, but the automaker is looking to take things a step further by making its own cells.
For a few months now, Tesla has been rumored to be working on making its own battery cells for its electric vehicles.
It started with the acquisition of Maxwell, a supercapacitor manufacturer with some battery cell technology, and later, at its annual shareholder’s meeting, Tesla all but confirmed that it’s going to manufacture its own battery cells.
Earlier, it was reported about Tesla building a battery cell pilot production line in Fremont.
Sources have told that the secret project is called “Roadrunner,” and it will aim to achieve mass production of a new battery cell that will be more energy-dense and cheaper.
The cells are using technologies developed by Tesla’s internal teams, including work from its research lab in Canada led by Jeff Dahn, and new technologies recently acquired through the acquisition of Maxwell.
Maxwell’s dry electrode technology would enable Tesla to produce cheaper cells with higher-energy density that would enable them to use less batteries per vehicle and still achieve longer range:
Tesla has already tested prototype cells under the Roadrunner secret project. It believes it can produce the cells in volume and use them in its vehicles and eventually in its stationary energy storage products.
The automaker has been developing manufacturing equipment in secrecy, like the pilot production line in Fremont, over the last few months.
With the introduction of the new battery cells, Tesla is also working on new module and battery pack improvements.
It includes moving away from wire bonding on the cells and going with a laser-welded technology instead.
Reports say that Elon Musk is pushing to have one of those new battery packs with the new Tesla-made battery cells ready to install in a Model S or Model X for the “Battery Investor Day” in April.
More information is going to be released at the event where Tesla is expected to announce the production of the cells in the US, Europe, and China.
This is a massive deal. You could argue that Tesla has more experience with Lithium-ion battery cells than any other company on the planet.
They are the world’s biggest consumer of battery cells, and they have used them on hundreds of millions of cycles throughout their entire fleet.
More importantly, they are bringing to market a cell that can be mass-produced at a low cost.
Our understanding is that this is the battery cell that is enabling the great economics and range of the Cybertruck and Tesla Semi as well as supporting Tesla’s long-term ambitions for high volume production across its lineup in the long term.
The goal is for Tesla to produce its own battery cells using technologies developed by Tesla’s internal teams, and new technologies recently acquired through the acquisition of Maxwell, on a massive scale and at a cost below $100 per kWh.
A plan to mass-produce the cells at several locations is also expected to be part of the announcement.
Purely speculative, but our guess is that Tesla is depending on these batteries for some future vehicles like the 620-plus mile range Tesla Roadster and the 500-mile Tesla Cybertruck. Presumably, this is why the Roadster has been delayed. We think the Tesla Semi may have been pushed back a bit as it awaits these new cells too. It’s even possible that the Tesla Model S Plaid is waiting for these advanced cells.