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Tesla already produces new batteries. But in secret … – Observer


In the automobile industry, tradition requires manufacturers to depend on suppliers as much as possible. The parts produced on the outside can have higher unit costs, but require much smaller initial investments, which prove to be an advantage, at least in some conditions. Tesla, as is his habit, is committed to a different strategy and focuses on everything he deems important, be it in terms of profit margins or technological independence. That is why he builds his own banks, chips, software, motors and batteries.

Until now, they have developed jointly with a technical partner, the Japanese of Panasonic, the accumulators that feed the three models of the brand, as well as the stationary batteries Powerwalls or Powerpacks. The cell type in question is 18650 and 21700 cylindrical (exclusively for model 3, at the moment), all with a chemical NCA of nickel-cobalt-aluminum, which is known to have 80%, 5% and the 15%.

But Tesla has bought in May the best ultracapacitor manufacturer, Maxwell, whose technology it can and is likely to be used to produce a new type of efficiency, energy-rich, cheaper, longer cycles, which means a longer life. And these batteries are already being produced and tested at facilities that Tesla maintains secretly, according to some former employees.

The space in question is located near the Tesla factory in Freemont, California, more precisely at Kato Road, a small laboratory where there are only a small number of technicians and where solutions are developed and tried to move away from the press and, above all, competitors. To this is added the fact that Tesla has reinforced its paintings with engineers linked to the design, equipment and production of cells for batteries, it is easy to imagine what is coming – and not for Panasonic, or the type of batteries currently to be mounted on brand models.

The relationship between Tesla and Panasonic has gone through a less good period, after the US manufacturer allowed the Japanese to become the largest producer of lithium ion batteries for electric vehicles. However, the need to enter the Chinese market led Tesla to hire an Asian partner for his Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai (where he will start manufacturing model 3 and model Y in 2020). This led Panasonic to announce a second "marriage" with the same Japanese Toyota in January, after Tesla complained about a lack of batteries to manufacture the models it needs in the United States, as the production line was designed for 35 GWh. / year and has difficulties in overcoming the current 24 GWh.

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