Tesla Buying Maxwell, Could Signal Move To Solid State Battery

Matte Black Tesla Model X With HRE S209 Wheels

FEB 4 2019 BY DOMENICK YONEY 137

The energy tech company makes ultracapacitors (and other interesting things).

Tesla is buying up Maxwell Technologies. In a deal expected to be finalized in the second quarter of 2019, the California automaker has offered $4.75 per share for the company. That’s a healthy 55-percent increase above the energy storage technology company’s share price of $3.07 at Friday’s market closing. The transaction is said to take the form of a stock swap and received unanimous approval from the Maxwell board.


The acquisition is an interesting one. Maxwell is mostly known for its ultracapacitors, which are used by other automakers. Indeed, Volvo’s Chinese parent company Geely partnered with the firm to use the energy storage devices in five of its hybrid products. But does that mean Tesla has picked them up for that particular technology? Maybe, but it should be noted that Maxwell, which has a footprint in Germany, South Korea, China, as well as the United States, has other tech that makes it valuable.

Besides making pseudocapacitors, a component that falls between a battery cell and a supercapacitor, it has developed a dry battery electrode with impressive energy storage potential. According to a slide (above) from the company’s recent presentation (PDF), the tech has been demonstrated the ability to hold over 300 Wh per kilogram and could possibly go as high as 500 Wh/kg. That’s a significant improvement over chemistries in today’s top lithium batteries which are in the 250 Wh/kg neighborhood. The cobalt-free formulation could ease the way for Tesla to develop a solid-state battery.

While we think this could be a great deal for the California automaker, the market is less certain. Tesla stock plunged over $11 shortly after opening Monday, but has begun to recover and sits at $308.50 (−3.71 (1.19%)) as of this writing (it seems now the bounce in share price is related to news that Electrify America is buying 100 examples of the Tesla Powerpack). For its part, Maxwell Technologies is up to $4.58 +1.52 (49.35%).
Check out the press release from Maxwell Technologies below for more of the financial details.

 

Maxwell Technologies Announces Definitive Merger Agreement with Tesla, Inc.
Maxwell shares valued at $4.75 in upcoming exchange offer

SAN DIEGO, Feb. 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Maxwell Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: MXWL or the “Company” or “Maxwell”), a leading developer and manufacturer of energy solutions, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement (the “Merger Agreement”) to be acquired by Tesla, Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA or “Tesla”). Tesla will commence an all stock exchange offer for all the issued and outstanding shares of the Company (the “Offer”), after which the Company will be merged with a Tesla subsidiary and become a wholly owned subsidiary of Tesla.

The Offer will value each share of Maxwell common stock at $4.75 per share. Pursuant to the Offer, each share of Maxwell common stock will be exchanged for a fraction of a share of Tesla’s common stock, equal to the quotient obtained by dividing $4.75 by a volume weighted average price of one share of Tesla’s common stock as reported on the NASDAQ Global Select Market for the five consecutive trading days preceding the expiration of the Offer, and which is subject to a floor that has been set at 80% of a volume weighted average price of Tesla common stock calculated prior to signing.

The closing of the transaction is subject to the successful tender and exchange of shares, certain regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. These terms, along with additional terms and conditions of the transaction, can be found in the Company’s Form 8-K filed on February 4, 2019 with the Securities and Exchange Commission and in the Merger Agreement, which is filed as an exhibit to the Company’s Form 8-K.

While there can be no assurances on the closing date, the Company anticipates that the merger will be consummated in the second quarter of 2019, or shortly thereafter, should all conditions be met and subject to the timing of the aforementioned approvals.

The Merger Agreement and the consummation of the Offer, merger and other transactions contemplated in the Merger Agreement have been unanimously approved by Maxwell’s board of directors, all of whom recommend to the Company’s stockholders that they accept the Offer and tender their Maxwell shares pursuant to the Offer. The directors and certain officers of Maxwell and I2BF Energy Limited have agreed to tender all of their Maxwell shares in the Offer, which in the aggregate represent approximately 7.56% of the outstanding shares of Maxwell common stock.

“We are very excited with today’s announcement that Tesla has agreed to acquire Maxwell. Tesla is a well-respected and world-class innovator that shares a common goal of building a more sustainable future,” said Dr. Franz Fink, President and Chief Executive Officer of Maxwell. “We believe this transaction is in the best interests of Maxwell stockholders and offers investors the opportunity to participate in Tesla’s mission of accelerating the advent of sustainable transport and energy.”

DLA Piper, LLP (US) represented Maxwell as outside legal counsel, and Barclays Capital Inc. served as independent advisor to Maxwell in connection with the transaction. Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati represented Tesla as outside legal counsel.

Source: Maxwell Technologies, Reuters

 

Categories: Battery Tech, Tesla

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137 Comments on "Tesla Buying Maxwell, Could Signal Move To Solid State Battery"

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Why would such a valuable technology be available so cheap?

Other companies own similar tech and Maxwell has been losing money for years.

Well Geely, Volvo and GM use there ultracapacitors.
Tesla battery storage will probably grow twice as fast as their EV business. Since the EV business will grow about 40% a year. To have storage batteries grow twice as fast is really impressive.
VW said that there going to install Tesla Powerpacks at their stations as part of the Electrify America charging network.
No clue what analysts are looking at when Tesla stock is going down today.

Tesla energy storage biz is growing rapidly, but it’s only 2-3% of their revenue and ~0% gross margin (which is actually an improvement). It’s also a very competitive market, and sales are mostly in the utility and commercial markets where Tesla’s brand has little value.

Tesla energy storage is reported at 11.5% gross margin in the Q4 2018 shareholder letter.

Tesla Energy GENERATION and Storage reported 11.5% gross margin. Generation is 30%+, storage is roughly 0% as I said.

Storage gross margin was negative in the first half of 2018. Read the Q1 and Q2 update letters, they state this quite clearly.

They are well known in Grid market since CA and SA installations with the first Virtual Power Plant going online in a year or two. Gross margin was low when batt production required use of Samsung batts as stop-gap (prior to that it was greater than 20%). By end of March, prod at GF1 should touch 35GWh (New 2x speed prod lines going online then). This will bring back margins. They also have new 2170 batt formulation that works as well for Grid as for Car, unifying production….. but I agree that it will be a few years before its a major part of the revenue.

Yes, they are well known. Tesla’s grid customers tend to quickly defect, though. SDG&E did a deal, maybe two, with AES. Kauai did two solar+storage deals with AES after the famous one with Tesla.

We’ll see what happens with the big PG&E deal, now that they filed BK.

“Now that they filed BK”, AGAIN.

FIFY

PG&E’s first $9 Billion BK “Whopper jr.” was back in 04/06/2001.

Since they make 150% and 250% profit on each Powerpack/wall, they should be a far bigger part of the picture to raise cash.
It’s a big mistake not finishing out the GF1 cell section fast and building more GFs as they need 10 in the next 8 yrs anyway.
That and wasting 2 extra yrs on the needlessly complicated X instead of more battery and going straight to the 3 was a huge mistake as I said at the time.
Musk needs to get over gadgetitis. KISS

They don’t make any profit on Powerpack/wall. They make 30%+ gross margin on solar systems (leased and sold), but energy storage drags the segment’s overall gross margin way down (was 11.5% in Q4).

Hi Ron M,

Tesla stock decline earlier today was linked to a bet on 15 Feb TSLA stock @ $100 share…. someone is expecting the shares to crater. Shares have significantly recovered and the “PUT” wasn’t massive, even if the assumed volatility is.

wow. so much garbage going on with the shorters.

Prove they use UCs other than in a controller, if that?
Maxwell’s UCs are 30x more weight, space and cost /kwh vs lithium cells. And lithium for the same outdo UCs by 30x. So just what is the point?
Maxwell sold the capacitor line 17 days ago to another company for about $57mm shows what it was worth, if that.
Peusdo means fake and they are just lithium batteries with a marketing name.
Tesla is buying the rest for the dry electrode battery tech patents.

They didn’t sell their capacitor line, just their CONDIS high voltage product line used in electrical substations. It was ~20% of their revenues, but half their gross profit and presumably quite profitable overall since it was a stable business with low SG&A and R&D.

They were not making money due to the lack of a customer at scale. And the only customer that is working at scale is Tesla and therefore it makes perfect sense for Tesla to acquire them rather than become a customer.

Could be high power needs from top acceleration and perhaps allow higher power regen. Perhaps some Super Charging application comes into play but that’s a long duration, high power application so not sure how that can be benefited.

Sounds like a great application for the Semi.

nope. little need on the semi for that.

Really? You know Semi max regen capacity with battery only?

Semi can charge at 1.4 MW for half an hour. Motors can only feed 800 kW and max regen only lasts for 20 seconds or so. Even 800 kW regen is iffy due to jackknife.

I believe that Maxwell and Tesla see it as a win win towards a sustainable future. They must respect which others engineering capabilities and feel working together will move innovations ahead in batteries sooner.

A year ago their stock price was double where it was yesterday, so yes, it is cheap.

I don’t really have much insight into why that would be, other than they were losing money. I wasn’t really aware of them before now, and reading today’s chatter, nobody’s really talking much about the company’s recent history; all the talk is about the future, ie what Tesla will get from them.

I think to do with power? Having a small bank of ultracap could provide spurt that’s many times the peak power from the battery. Could we be seeing 0-60 MPH in 0.9 seconds?

More likely it could add cold temperature improvements, and maybe help less power dense Li-ion technologies. Although you could use it for fast 0-60 times, not sure they would other than for specialized vehicles.

You might be onto something on the capacitor side. Lithium Ion batteries are notoriously unhappy about charging when cold, perhaps there is a use case where it is necessary to start charging quickly when cold? The capacitors might absorb power while the thermal management system warms the battery pack? Or maintaining regen when the battery is near 100% SOC? But it is difficult to imagine a use case where this advantage offsets the cost of another DC to DC converter. Perhaps charging impedance increases enough when a battery is cold that they could simply be in parallel? I would be surprised but what do I know?

Probably most of the automotive market for super capacitors is in buffering lead acid starting batteries for ICE vehicles, so I tend to think Maxwell’s battery tech is what Tesla is interested in. Time will tell.

It’s not about Maxwells ultracapacitor products it’s about Maxwells solid state coating technology that can be applied to Lithium Ion

I agree. They claim their dry electrode coating process works with existing NCA, NMC, LTO, etc. They’ve done roll-to-roll fabrication, which should be scalable. It’s adapted from their ultracap electrode coating process, which has been in production for many years.

No guarantees, of course, but this sounds more like an incremental improvement than can integrate into existing production lines.

It’s a pretty significant improvement. 2x longevity of existing tech. Pathway to 2x energy
density but 20% off the bat and 10-20% reduction in production costs.

That’s not incremental that’s the end of fossil fuel right there.

It’s certainly a significant improvement, and let’s hope the tech in the patent(s) is actually applicable to the types of cars Tesla makes. I presume Tesla believes it is, or Tesla wouldn’t have spent the money.

But it’s rather an overstatement to call this “the end of fossil fuel”. It’s not going to suddenly make long-distance commercial EV airliners practical. Nor is it likely to be the magic bullet that’s needed to get EV charging times down to 10 minutes or less, to make them fully competitive with gasmobiles.

I found a tech paper on the technology.

http://www.powersourcesconference.com/Power%20Sources%202018%20Digest/docs/3-1.pdf

Seems like a great strategic acquisition. Gain engineers familiar with power electronics, capacitors, and materials processing which is adaptable to electrochemical batteries as well as supercaps.

All of them could have good applications. The supercaps might be useful in energy grid storage: grid stabilization to match phases & transient load peaks, and maybe to improve regeneration efficiency in EV’s. The materials is clearly something for battery manufacturing—looks like it could shrink the size and expense of the battery production lines, enabling higher and higher production capacity in the same space. They’d have to share it with Panasonic to put into production but that would benefit them both.

Sort of an electronic turbocharger charged by regen or slow charged by onboard battery, almost like the old camera flash. This really makes sense for a performance car but even just everyday use for acceleration is fine. I can also be used as a buffer for fast charging. Fast charge supercap and discharge it slowly to a battery so you don’t have to wait long.

More accurate term for electronic “turbo” charger might be supercap charger? But yeah, it will be awesome if that comes true. Push a button, and you too can experience steam catapult launch from an aircraft carrier, only with an EV.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcfzsPQUfPI

Another option is the use of the ultra-capacitors in the home energy/battery arena. There is a small lag when it comes to switching on the Powerwall from when the grid goes down. Ultra-capacitors can be used to deliver power in that small transition.

Only at 30x the cost, weight, space of lithium. No thanks.

It’s not for energy density but being able to deliver currents very quickly. Think about grid stabilization.

And for an EV it could mean much more efficient regen if a few seconds of operation could be stored with 90% efficiency vs <50% going through battery round trip (and reducing battery life).

I believe you’re still limited by a tire’s ability to stick to the road surface. Elon said something about that being the limiting factor on –60

0-60

0.9 sec is physically impossible with current tires tech. the physical limit is close to 1.9 sec

Even with wide drag racing slicks? I know those will never be seen on any production car, but I’m curious about what the limit really is.

Googling the term “dry battery electrode”, it’s probably not a coincidence that the first hit is for a scientific article, “Electrochemical Performance of Dry Battery Electrode,” which includes the following:

…Maxwell Technologies unique heritage solvent-free dry electrode process used to commercialized Ultracapacitor electrodes can be adapted to existing lithium ion battery chemistries and advanced materials. Maxwell dry electrode manufacturing demonstrative benefits over conventional slurry wet coating process includes, (i)environmentally benign due to elimination of toxic solvent, (ii) lower cost by reducing capital and operating expenditures, resulting from elimination of solvent recovery and recycling system, (iii) improved energy and power density afforded by unique dense high loading electrode microstructures.

Maxwell Technologies has applied its proprietary dry electrode process to produced lithium ion battery cathode and anode electrode with unparalleled energy density and enhance cycle life over conventional wet coated electrodes. We have demonstrated dry robust process capability, incorporating current and advanced chemistries such as graphite, silicon, metal alloy, and nickel-rich layered transition metal oxides. In addition, we have demonstrated roll-to-roll dry process scalability using common and advanced battery material chemistries.

Good find… l was assuming they were going to use the ultracapicitors but looks like this dry electrode process is for their battery cells.

Oops, I omitted the link to the scientific article:

http://ma.ecsdl.org/content/MA2018-01/3/365.abstract

Thanks.

It really looks like this has more to do with improving battery manufacturing (ecologically and economically) than solid state batteries (which aim to have a liquid-free electrolyte). Tesla’s battery operation is big enough that even a 10% percent reduction in electrode cost is worth hundreds of millions.

Yes, it’s a different way to coat cathodes and anodes, has nothing to do with solid state batteries.

I was wondering why Tesla would be interested in a company which makes capacitors, which have very limited applications for BEVs, but the new tech described in my comment above would certainly seem to be something that Tesla might think is worth paying a substantial amount to acquire.

Does this also mean that Tesla’s wil get a tape-deck ? 😉

I note you are joking, but Maxwell ≠ Maxell

I was thinking the same thing.. thanks for correcting.

Millenials have crickets chirping around them right now!

Maxwell, Smart!

Now you are Baby Boomer territory.

so was maxell.

Missed it by that much.

Mel Brooks! Classic!

Mel Brooks did the Maxwell Smart show?

Get Smart. Yep. Created by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry (a frequent SNL host during the 70s).

This business agreement was negotiated under the “Cone of Silence”.

“What? What? I can’t hear you!”

Maybe an 8 track

I’ve been wondering why EVs haven’t been using ultracaps, on paper they make sense as a kind of electric turbo charger. Capacitors can charge and discharge at much higher rates than batteries with almost no losses and they don’t wear out which would make them ideal for handling regen braking and acceleration tasks. Ultracaps have sufficient capacity for those tasks, a friend of mine was an engineer at a company that makes warehouse robots which were powered by ultracaps, the advantage for them was that the robots could shuttle over to their charging stations and charge themselves in a few seconds, so if ultracaps can power a warehouse robot they should be able to meet the needs of regen braking and a few seconds of acceleration. Is it simply a cost thing, or is it that if you have a large enough battery pack the benefits for adding ultracaps aren’t significant enough to warrant the added cost?

Mazda uses EDLC supercapacitors in their i-Eloop regenerative breaking system. They have a small capacity but it can power the electronics, lights and AC. The hybrid supercapacitors sold by Maxwell have 5 to 10 times the energy density of these EDLC

Capacitors, including the varieties call “supercapacitors” or “ultracapacitors”, have an energy density which is hopelessly too low to store any significant amount of energy. A small capacitor pack in an EV can benefit very short-term energy storage, perhaps for a second or two of rapid acceleration or rapid capture of energy from regenerative braking, but trying to actually store enough energy in a bank of capacitors to power a highway-capable passenger vehicle EV for hours of driving would require it to tow a large trailer stuffed full of them. Perhaps a very large trailer.

I think it would help in the cold when our current brake regen is low. An array of UC would allow the regen to stay high until the batteries are warm enough to take the charge. Perhaps that is not enough benefit for the cost.

And at great cost plus much more expensive power electronics to keep them alive, use it’s power.

even better would be the SC themselves would benefit heavily from these.
It would enable Tesla to work with power companies and use these as both smoothing for charging as well as for the grid.

On the Maxwell site there’s a press release about Siemens using Maxwell Supercaps in their grid energy storage systems to fill the brief time gap for other storage to take over when power drops out.

Well that’s one more thing about this purchase that could work out well for Tesla.

Ultra caps are power devices, not usually considered energy devices by comparison to batteries. If you have a large enough battery pack for long trips, you usually have more than enough power in most conditions. Adding a capacitor bank probably means you need to add another DC to DC converter to manage SOC of the capacitor back versus battery pack. Capacitor stacks also need balancing, so it is another BMS (or CMS in this case I guess). So there better be a lot of benefit to offset the added cost and complexity.

“…a dry battery electrode with impressive energy storage potential.”

No offense to Domenick, the writer of this article, but electrodes don’t store energy. They just conduct energy.

The reversible chemical reaction between the electrode and lithium ions is the reason batteries can store/release energy, so it doesn’t make sense to say electrodes “just conduct energy”.

I don’t think there’s really a chemical reaction. The lithium ions are physically stored (intercalated) in the electrodes, they don’t combine chemically with them.

Without a redox reaction there is no energy flow.

Electrons do attach to and disassociate from molecules as they flow into and out of the electrodes. That’s not a chemical reaction in the same sense of a lead-acid battery, where lead reacts with sulfuric acid and forms lead sulfate, though.

Anode interlacation is arguably different from a chemical reaction, but what the lithium ions do on the cathode definitely is.

The lower energy state from the ionic bonding of Li to the cathode (compared to graphite intercalation when charge) is why the electrons have energy during discharge.

By definition, all electrochemical cells work by a chemical reaction which converts chemical energy to electrical energy. If it doesn’t work that way, then it’s inappropriate to call it a “battery cell”.

As Domenick quoted above:

…during a discharge of electricity, the chemical on the anode releases electrons to the negative terminal and ions in the electrolyte through what’s called an oxidation reaction. Meanwhile, at the positive terminal, the cathode accepts electrons, completing the circuit for the flow of electrons… “These two reactions happen simultaneously”

Also, if there wasn’t a chemical reaction involved, then it wouldn’t happen that positive and negative ions occasionally react inside a li-ion cell to permanently form inert salts. That’s how dendrites form as part of the cell aging.

deleted

Makes good sense for Tesla as the technology would be a good fit with all of Elon’s companies of which all would benefit, this lets them hit the ground running rather that start from scratch.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

I’m waiting for EEStor’s EV battery………

ROTFLMAO. 😛

Ron Swanson's Mustache

EEStor. That’s a name I’ve not heard in a long time.

Yes, it’s impossible to read about capacitors / ultracapacitors / supercapacitors being used to power an EV without thinking about EEStor, with its outlandish and utterly disproven claims for a magical capacitor tech.

I managed to read about this without thinking about EEFraud once, until you guys brought it up 🙂

Okay, it’s impossible for me to read about this without thinking about it.

I forget… were you once a part of the EEStor “cadre” of Üsual suspects, as I was (as “Lensman”)?

….er, sorry, that should be “…part of TheEEStory ‘cadre'”… EEStor was the name of the company, TheEEStory was the name of the discussion forum about EEStor. Dang, it has been a long time!

I read the EEStor message boards from time to time. I may have contributed a little, but not regularly.

Maybe this is a harbinger of a battery breakthrough from Tesla later this year? For awhile I’ve had a feeling that something was coming from Tesla.

500kwh/kg starts to make electric flight more feasible.

From article: “Tesla Buying Maxwell… Maxwell is mostly known for its ultracapacitors…”
___________

Hmmmmm……

@CDAVIS comment repost:

“Sub 2.0sec doable on Model S… easy peasy…

Larger front motor (match same as back) or smaller motor twin front and twin back …then add an auxiliary supercapacitor Boost-Bank that kicks in at 0.4sec.”

-comment repost source:
https://insideevs.com/tesla-model-s-p100d-ludicrous-accelerates-0-60-mph-2-28-seconds/

continued…

and/or…

@CDAVIS comment repost:

“My guess is that the next big step up in battery technology will not be a move to a “solid state” battery as currently still under early development and unproven… which is basically the same battery chemistry except the use of solid electrolytes instead of a liquid or polymer electrolytes.

The next big battery advancement may be more along the lines of a big breakthrough in super-capacitor technology.

Why do I believe this?

Well… What is the weight of an electron?

When drilling down into the fundamental properties of an electron (charge, mass, & spin) it’s the mass property that stands out… nearly no mass… so starting from that point of reference it gets down to storage and transport (phase change) of electrons at minimum added weight overhead (for example perhaps somehow use of Aerographite + ionized hydrogen). That’s greatly simplified but point being that the next big leap in battery technology may likely completely move away from existing tech and lead to a very lightweight battery (think 1/10 or less) of existing battery tech with the same or better volumetric energy density…”

-comment repost source:
https://insideevs.com/nissan-says-development-of-solid-state-batteries-practically-a-zero/

Capacitors would need orders of magnitude of improvement in energy density to be competitive with current li-ion batteries. Such improvement, perhaps as much as two full orders (100x) improvement, is theoretically possible, but so far nobody has made any significant practical advancement in the field… EEStor’s false claims notwithstanding.

Pushmi-Pullyu said: “Capacitors would need orders of magnitude of improvement in energy density to be competitive with current li-ion batteries…”
—————

Likely Maxwell brings two things to the table for Tesla:

1) Existing Maxwell production capacitors could be added to future performance versions of Tesla models as an auxiliary BoostBank (size of a breadbox)… perhaps kicks in at 0.40sec for up to 2 seconds duration. That could shave off 0.20-0.50sec from 0-60mph. Also allow better regenerative capture performance for high-speed hard braking… think Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

2) Maxwell has something cooked up in the lab that has already passed Elon’s criteria of “give me a cell I can test”. That would be a multi-year Tesla/Maxwell development effort to bring to mass production… which Tesla feels is a worthwhile development thread to further investigate.Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

Occam’s Razor shaves in the direction of Tesla being interested in Maxwell’s tech for electrode coatings for li-ion batteries, not in Maxwell’s capacitors… which clearly are not market leaders, or Maxwell wouldn’t be losing money. Tesla cars have gotten along just fine to date without using capacitors to power the motor, and my semi-informed guess is that will continue to be the case.

“The next big battery advancement may be more along the lines of a big breakthrough in super-capacitor technology.”

It may also be pixies and moondust. Maxwell’s ultracaps are 5-10 Wh/kg vs. ~260 Wh/kg for the Panasonic/Tesla cells.

@Doggydogworld said: “…It may also be pixies and moondust…”
——————

lol…

Likely not pixies but possibly moondust… a lot of interesting super rare (for earth) elements in moondust.

Rumor has it that Elon plans on starting a moon mining operation… byproduct of Lunar SpaceX/Boring-co venture.

An electron’s energy is determined by it’s interaction with atoms (unless it’s a free electron in a vacuum). Its low mass in isolation is irrelevant.

These atoms I speak of are those found in a battery’s electrodes.

For a starter I see UCs added to top perfomance power trains.

A pure “Electric Hybrid”, kind of.

Maxwell has something with its solid state technology which it said would be ready for vehicles by 2021/22. It has been increasingly focused on the technology.
No doubt Tesla has been extensively testing and validating the technology through Dahn and its industry leading cell validation facility before the acquisition.
This puts Tesla in the solid state race and I’m sure this technology will be quickly rolled into Tesla products

One problem with a lot of the battery startups is there is a big difference between getting something to work in the lab and having it work reliably in the field and going into high production. Most startups know nothing about all the problems in making this transition.

If Maxwell is already using this solvent-free dry electrode in their ultracapacitors, then they have a huge advantage. They’ve been producing products for over 50 years.

Elon Musk has said that he’s not interested in theoretical battery technology. Show him something working outside of a lab and he’ll pay attention.

He’s paying a lot more than just ‘attention’ now…. 🙂

They don’t use the same electrode in their ultracaps. They claim to have adapted the dry electrode coating process they use in their ultracaps to work with standard lithium ion electrodes. They specifically claim they can coat NCA and NMC cathodes as well as graphite and graphite/silicon anodes. Tesla uses NCA in their cars, NMC in energy storage and graphite or possibly graphite/silicon in both.

There have been various proposals to use ultracapacitors to power cars over the years, and they all fail because they have very low energy density compared to batteries. But they have been used successfully as a sort of energy buffer. They can capture and supply energy very fast without any appreciable wearout. They can easily capture a deep power spike from strong regenerative breaking, for example. This is why you sometimes see them in hybrids.

Whether or not Tesla takes advantage of this is another matter. It is an additional technology they’ll have in their arsenal.

And so begins the effort by Big Lithium to kill off solid state batteries…

( For those who need it: /sarcasm )

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

BLAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

thanks for that one!

Solid state batteries have also Lithium as a main component, only the electrolyte (= separator between anode – cathode) is solid and not liquid.
This solid is more stable, not inflammable etc.. just “the little problem” how on earth to get the Li-Ions flowing through a solid wall just like through a liquid electrolyte.

For years Tesla has been saying “If you have solid state tech, send us some!” Well Maxwell seem to think they do, and now they’re being bought out by Tesla. Very few solid state announcements are followed by a buy-out from the leading manufacturer. Nissan et al have missed a trick here.

Sakti got bought by Dyson, lol.

This isn’t what is meant usually by “solid-state batteries” which have a non-liquid electrolyte holding ion transport.

The Maxwell technology is for manufacturing the electrodes in the usual lithium ion battery in a better way that doesn’t require solvent in the manufacturing process (that solvent is not supposed to end up in the battery, it’s only for processing the materials in the first place). And potentially the quality of the electrodes might be higher if made this way vs conventional processing and able to hold somewhat more energy because of the differences in the molecular configurations so manufactured.

I doubt the $11 drop in TSLA share price was mostly caused by this acquisition. That equals $1.7B loss in market cap, whereas the acquisition price was ~$200M.

Yeah. Tesla stock price is prone to a lot of speculative buys, and thus is highly volatile, but still, I suspect there was some other factor involved. There’s no rational reason to immediately conclude, before any evidence or even well-considered analysis is seen, that Tesla’s acquisition of Maxell was a bad investment.

…er, Tesla’s acquisition of Maxwell. Dang. That’s a decidedly non-trivial difference!

Nah, SEC wouldn’t approve the deal as potentially profitting for Tesla. It would ban the deal, and Maxwell would be purchased by VW or GM later with SEC giving green light to their M&A.
SEC on shorts payroll after all.

The SEC doesn’t have to approve every deal. In fact, so far as I know, the SEC only steps in where major mergers and/or acquisitions involving major players are involved, or where a foreign company tries to buy a company which the U.S. considers vital to national interests. This acquisition of Maxwell seems to be a rather minor deal for Tesla. I hope you’re not confusing Maxwell with Maxell?

I hope someone will correct me if I’m wrong here.

Yet, as can be seen in the Maxwell’s press-release they had to file an application with SEC for this merger, and now both companies are waiting for a regulatory approval of the deal at the time of writing.

Thank you for the correction. 🙂 I’m learning all sorts of things over the past 24 hours!

I always feel like somebody’s watching me.
–Maxwell

That’s Rockwell!

I’d have offered them $4.20 per share…… just saying.

That’s hilarious!

One thing that’s worth re-iterating is that Tesla is not an acquisitions-focused company. They haven’t bought many other businesses, and the ones they have bought have been highly strategic moves.

This is very likely going to be used heavily with the car charging.
One of the issues that I have been speaking is my disdain for short-range EVs and hybrids. These vehicles are the ones most likely to be charging during peak hours at super chargers. As such, if done with a straight connection to the grid, it will make the electricity VERY expensive.
BUT, with ultra-caps, the caps can pull it at a much lower rate, and esp working with the power company. This will enable Tesla/others to use micro demand to lower their costs.
In fact, if this is being in this fashion, it might enable Tesla to work with the power company to get even lower cost electricity while selling back to them to help smooth demands.

Nope. Capacitors are useful for power/energy applications where they only need to supply power for a couple of seconds or less. Using a bank of capacitors, instead of batteries, as a buffer to reduce power grid demand charges would require storing power for hours… which would require a bank of capacitors much, much bigger and much, much more expensive than the equivalent capacity in li-ion batteries.

Looks like a goo purchase, they join the other three who are rumored to have a working prototype ssb Dyson, Fisker, Toyota. Capacitors can also be useful in accessory batteries, auxiliary power, boost caps, power tools, garden tools, mowers.

Maxwell has no SSB tech.

Maxwell was almost bankrupt. SIDC (Chinese state) had a huge paper loss on them – after the 55% premium, they made money. Likely a backdoor payoff to the Chinese government.

https://www.pivotalcapitalresearch.com/home/tesla-acquires-maxwell-technologies-buyout-bailout-or

Maxwell just sold their CONDIS product line for $55m cash, eliminating the possibility of BK for a couple years.

Extremely unlikely.

One thing it does signal is Tesla will stay top of the battery game for the foreseeable future

I wonder if this is the ‘one promising battery tech improvement’ Musk was talking about last year?

How is fire safety improved by this technology?
Could be a substantial pro argument.