Experts question Tesla: New battery design may be difficult to mass-produce

Advanced battery designs and new manufacturing processes proposed this week by Tesla CEO Elon Musk have promising promises, according to battery technology experts. However, they questioned how quickly new designs and processes could be implemented, and to what extent the overall cost could be reduced.

Tesla’s new cell, model 4680, has a cylindrical shape that can store more energy and is easier to produce. Tesla aims to halve battery costs and increase production nearly 100 times by 2030. This new cell is the key to that.

In a speech on “Battery Day” on Tuesday, Musk said that Tesla “was not in the battery business because it’s hell, but because it’s the most fundamental constraint” that will ultimately determine whether Tesla can No annual output of 20 million cars. Musk’s remarks failed to satisfy investors.

Here’s what battery technologists have to say about Musk’s plans:

According to Gene Berdichevsky, CEO and co-founder of battery materials manufacturer Sila Nanotechnologies and former Tesla battery system architect, “The most specific, the most visible, and probably the most influential The thing is the new cell design. It’s a very good design, reducing the manufacturing cost at the cell level. But the most difficult thing is not making the cell, but whether it can be mass-produced.”

Shirley Meng, a professor at the University of California, San Diego, said: “Most of Musk’s claims are expected, such as the 4680 model, new designs, silicon anodes, diverse cathode designs. The cathode manufacturing process and The new aluminum-based alloy surprised me.”

“People always seem to be looking for new types of batteries, but changing things like shape can really make a big difference,” said Gary Koenig, assistant professor at the University of Virginia. Making the process simpler, faster, and even successfully making the cells wider and the electrodes thicker allows relatively large optimizations to be made at the level of larger battery packs.”

“As Musk said, the battery electrode process involves adding and removing solvent, so intuitively there should be a way to omit this step. The addition of the solvent really helps in mixing the multiple needed ingredients, so in the absence of the solvent Achieving good adhesion and adequate mixing can be challenging.”

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