Tesla plans to announce a cheaper, longer-life battery for its Model 3 sedan.
The battery will first launch in China sometime later this year, or maybe even early next year, but the goal is for Tesla to bring down the cost of its electric vehicles. According to Reuters, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been telling investors he will reveal more advanced battery technology in late May. He's reportedly teasing a battery that is low-cost and designed to last for a million miles of use.
Dubbed the “million-mile” battery, it's being jointly developed by China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) and Tesla's team of academic battery experts. The new battery is said to leverage low-cobalt and cobalt-free battery chemistries, plus chemical additives, materials, and coatings, all of which should help reduce stress and allow the battery to store more energy, longer.
Future batteries, with even better energy density and storage capacity and lower cost, will be rolled out to Tesla vehicles beyond China.
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With more than one million EVs capable of connecting to and sharing power with the grid, Musk is also planning to harness Tesla's global fleet so that the company can "achieve the status of a power company" like Pacific Gas and Electric in the US, Reuters said.
Finally, Tesla reportedly plans to use a highly automated battery manufacturing process to cut labor costs and increase production. In fact, it'll use “terafactories” 30 times the size of the company’s massive Nevada gigafactory. Tesla is also looking into using recycled metals like nickel, cobalt, and lithium, and it will use CATL's exclusive, inexpensive way of packaging battery cells.
Add it all up, and Tesla is clearly focused on scaling battery production and improving the cost per kilowatt-hour of the batteries.