It Seems Tesla Has Some Undisclosed Battery Breakthroughs

Tesla battery production

DEC 20 2017 BY EVANNEX 100

Tesla

Tesla CEO Elon Musk (Image: Ask Men)

ELON MUSK COULD BE CONCEALING CHARGING AND BATTERY BREAKTHROUGHS AT TESLA

Elon Musk and Tesla have made some bold claims for the new Tesla Semi and Roadster. Those who understand batteries have been scratching their figurative heads trying to figure out how the company can deliver the specs it’s promising – and concluding that the only possible way is some as-yet-unannounced advance in battery technology.

Musk says the Tesla Semi will be able to haul 80,000 pounds for 500 miles and recharge to 400 miles in 30 minutes, which would revolutionize the trucking industry. As for the Roadster, its promised 0-60 acceleration of 1.9 seconds effectively shuts down every one of the world’s baddest supercars, and its touted 620-mile range would be double that of any EV produced to date.

In a recent article, Bloomberg points out that these specs are so far beyond current industry standards that delivering them would require major advances in battery technology between now and the time when the new vehicles go into production. “I don’t think they’re lying,” said Cairn Energy Research Battery Analyst Sam Jaffe. “I just think they left something out of the public reveal that would have explained how these numbers work.”

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Charles Morris.

The analysts at Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimate that the Tesla Semi’s announced specs would require a battery capacity of between 600 and 1,000-kilowatt hours (6-10 times the size of the largest Model S battery). Using current technology, an 800 kWh battery pack would weigh over 10,000 pounds and cost more than $100,000. That’s just for the battery – Tesla has said its entire truck will start at $150,000. It seems plain that Tesla is counting on falling battery prices to square the circle. “The first Tesla Semis won’t hit the road until late 2019,” Bloomberg points out. “Even then, production would probably start slowly. Most fleet operators will want to test the trucks before considering going all-in. By the time Tesla gets large orders, batteries should cost considerably less.”

It isn’t just the capacity of the battery that’s causing analysts to wear out their calculators – Musk’s claim that the Tesla Semi will be able to add 400 miles of charge in 30 minutes would require a charging system 10 times more powerful than Tesla’s current Supercharger – which is already by far the most powerful in the industry.

Tesla

The recently unveiled, new Tesla Semi truck (Instagram: titanelectro)

“I don’t understand how that works,” said Bloomberg New Energy Finance EV Analyst Salim Morsy. “I really don’t.” Tesla’s current generation of Superchargers have a power output of 120 kilowatts and can add about 180 miles of range to a Model S battery in 30 minutes. To meet Tesla’s charging claim for the Semi would require the promised Megacharger to deliver an output of at least 1,200 kW.

Perhaps Tesla’s biggest bombshell is the promise that it will guarantee truckers electricity rates of 7 cents per kilowatt-hour, which Bloomberg estimates could translate to fuel savings of up to $30,000 a year. Musk says that adding solar panels and battery packs at the charging stations will account for at least part of the cost reduction. However, BNEF’s Salim Morsy insists that Tesla will have to heavily subsidize those electricity rates – he estimates that Tesla will pay a minimum of 40 cents per kWh. “There’s no way you can reconcile 7 cents a kilowatt hour with anything on the grid that puts a megawatt-hour of energy into a battery,” Morsy said. “That simply does not exist.”

Of course, that’s no different from what Tesla does for its current Supercharger network, offering free electricity to many customers, while paying almost $1 per kWh to produce it, according to Morsy’s estimate.

And how about that Roadster? To deliver its promised range of 620 miles, it will need a 200 kWh battery pack, twice the size of Tesla’s largest currently available pack. Mr. Morsy predicts that Tesla will stack two battery packs, one on top of the other, beneath the Roadster’s floor. Electrek’s Seth Weintraub reached the same conclusion after taking a test ride and noticing that he was sitting higher off the ground than in the original Roadster.

Tesla

The new Tesla Roadster (Image: Tesla)

Even with a double-decker pack, however, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that Tesla is counting on improving battery tech to make the Roadster, like the Semi, feasible. Battery density has been improving at a rate of about 7.5 percent a year, and that’s without any major breakthrough in battery chemistry.

“The trend in battery density is, I think, central to any claim Tesla made about both the Roadster and the Semi,” Morsy said. “That’s totally fair. The assumptions on a pack in 2020 shouldn’t be the same ones you use today.”

A massive battery pack not only enables greater range – it’s also a key element in the Roadster’s world-beating 0-60 acceleration. Jalopnik’s David Tracy spoke with battery expert Venkat Viswanathan, a Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor at Carnegie Mellon, who says that the 1.9-second figure actually seems reasonable.

Viswanathan explains that the power output of a motor is limited by the power draw from each battery cell. Because the Roadster’s pack is double the size, the power draw may not be that much more than that of a Ludicrous Model S.

Above: A look at the lightning-fast 2020 Tesla Roadster (Youtube: Tesla)

Viswanathan told Jalopnik that the most modern battery cells offer specific energy of about 240 watt-hours per kilogram. Using that assumption, the Roadster’s 200 kWh battery pack should weigh roughly 1,800 pounds, a huge advance over the previous-generation Roadster. With clever use of lightweight materials, the Roadster could still come out under the nearly two-ton curb weight of the Nissan GT-R, an acceleration benchmark among sports cars.

Viswanathan concludes that a 0-60 time of 1.9 seconds and a range of 620 miles are quite feasible, although there are several other factors that will come into play – much depends on the vehicle’s tires and aerodynamics.

Meanwhile, at least one analyst thinks Tesla’s latest revelations (or claims, or fantasies, depending on your point of view) have implications that go far beyond the Semi and the Roadster. Michael Kramer, a Fund Manager with Mott Capital Management, told Marketwatch that he suspects improved battery capacities and charging times could make their way into all future Tesla vehicles.

“I’d have to imagine that Tesla has figured out how to put this technology on all of their cars, which means every car could get a full charge in under 30 minutes,” Kramer wrote. Once the Model S “is equipped with the 200 kWh battery pack in the new Roadster, which I can’t imagine is too far down the road, the range issue for the Tesla is officially dead.” (Elon Musk has said that Models S and X will not get physically larger packs, but improved energy density could increase capacity while keeping the size of the pack the same.) Someday soon, Kramer says, “The Model S would likely be able to drive further on one charge than a car on a full tank of gasoline.”

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Written by: Charles Morris

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX, Check out the site here.

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100 Comments on "It Seems Tesla Has Some Undisclosed Battery Breakthroughs"

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Well, if it is true that they have some sort of breakthrough, will they be sharing it with the rest of the world? I mean, they released all of their patents before? But are they still doing that with new patents going forward? (I doubt it)

It’s only natural that the pace of improvements would increase with the anticipated drastic increase in cell demand. There are much more research funds going around for battery development, than before.

And we have heard a lot about new technologies, like solid state cells over the last years. And those prototypes are bound to become mass market products.

Now since those announcements were usually made by universities, not by big cell manufacturers, many didn’t take them seriously. But of course all that “vaporware” is being improved right now, despite what the comment sections said.

So I’m not really surprised by the fact that improvements seem to accelerate, this could have been seen by the amount of publications about cell chemistry a couple of years ago vs in the 90s.

Also, if Tesla were to release a new spec on a new battery, it could adversely affect the sale of current vehicles.
( Ask Apple )
( Ask Osborne )

Or ask Tesla with their Model 3. 😉

They also wouldn’t want competitors to know all their secrets. But the same probably goes for any OEM, or cell supplier.

The only intel we get are start ups in need for money, or universities doing fundamental research. That’s also why every announcement seems so far fetched. It’s either startup ABC in dire need of cash, or an university being proud that their cell lasts 63 cycles.

Bold claims are made, so there MUST be a breakthrough…a bit of a stretch. Perhaps the claims are hyperbole.

Or perhaps the claims can be achieved by Tesla engineers that are not thinking so very firmly inside the box as the so-called “analyst” who wrote that article for Evannex. I’ve seen some ill-informed supposed “analyses” of EV tech before, but this may possibly set a new record for cluelessness.

The only thing really questionable is Tesla’s apparently very low prices for batteries, and even that may be nothing more than a direct result of how much Elon thinks he can reduce manufacturing costs with touchless high-speed production lines at Gigafactory One over the next 2-3 years.

I think it’s very questionable that any breakthrough battery tech is involved. Occam’s razor does not shave in that direction.

History may not repeat, but it sure rhymes,
most of the times!

They may be able to go 300-500 miles but what is the total cost of ownership with range fade? You notice they never mentioned that.

Because range fade isn’t an issue with Tesla’s!

If it’s a Panasonic invention then no.

It could well be a Jeff Dahn invention.

Speaking as a TSLA shareholder, they darn well better not!

I think one of Mr. Musk’s stated goals was to have electric vehicles with 1000 mile range. It would make sense if Tesla and/or Panasonic have had a battery breakthrough. Such things seem to happen on a fairly regular basis. The impressive thing if such a thing is true is the timetable to commercialize that tech in 2-3 years. That’s what has held up all the other battery breakthroughs so far.

I thought Musk said it didn’t make sense to have more than 400 miles of range?

Yeah, I certainly don’t recall seeing any quote from Elon about 1000 miles of range. Google finds a Financial Post headline claiming a 1000 mile range for the Roadster Gen II, but this is a blunder; the text of the article says 1000 kilometers.

http://business.financialpost.com/transportation/autos/update-6-new-200000-tesla-roadster-speeds-in-front-of-electric-big-rig-truck

620 mile range = 1000 Km range.

Yes he said that. However that is regarding practical cars like Model S and X. The Roadster 2 is really about making a point.

When Elon makes a Point, by presenting the Sharp End of a Spear, others get it when the Spear hits!

In this case, when multiple independent sources verify the data, specs, or results! Then everyone else freaks out!

This story “Seems” to recreate what Tesla seems to be suggesting.

It’s too bad Bloomberg’s Morsy doesn’t appear to understand how current delivery is the easy part. Bigger batteries add miles faster. That’s a simple reality, away from any “Breakthrough”.

Does anyone think the subway uses less than 1,200 KW?

The ignorance displayed by Mr. Morsy is pretty abysmal. He seems to have taken as a premise that the power delivered by Superchargers is the highest amount of power anyone has ever delivered on a regular basis.

Clearly he’s ignorant of industrial uses for high electrical power. I guess he would be stunned to learn that a single electrical induction furnace can draw up to 42 kW!

As you say, delivering the charging power is the easy part.

Equally absurd is his claim that Tesla is paying $1/kWh for the electricity its Superchargers consume. Where does he get these ridiculous figures?

Edit: I wrote “…a single electrical induction furnace can draw up to 42 kW!”

Oops! That should be “…up to 42 MW!” Slight difference there… 😉

Thanks. I was about write “big deal”.

42MW would charge a 200kWh Roadster in 30 seconds 🙂

“Do not try this at home!” 🙂

More likely turn it into a Roaster.

Of course Tesla has a next gen battery.

The NMC guys have one and it’s called NMC811 and NMC solid state. There’s articles out saying LG chem will release the NMC 811 chemistry early 2018.

Do people really think Panasonic is sitting on their hands??

Also this battery expert points out a very interesting area where pack weight could be lowered….not just the cells but everything else is extremely heavy. Just the cells for the Tesla model S weigh in at only 800 pounds yet the whole pack is claimed to be 1200 pounds. Look how much the pack weighs compared to the cells.

So I agree. Tesla very definitely has a next gen battery figured into the specs and the price of the Roadster and the Semi.

As a little teaser read about Nikola’s UTV that has 130 kwh pack sqeezed into it. The author could not understand how they squeezed that many kwh’s in such a small space.

The packs was supposedly Samsung or LG cells.

So Samsung and LG definitely have NMC811 coming out.

There’s no reason that Panasonic doesn’t have a next gen cell as well

Fred Lambert at Electrek was suspicious of the Nikola UTV, including his doubts about fitting 125 kWh in such a small space. So Nikola flew him to St. George for a test drive.

Once he saw it in person he said: “We get a good look at the four separate electric motors powering the UTV and the ***surprisingly large battery pack*** running between the two axles.”
(emphasis mine)

https://electrek.co/2017/11/21/nikola-zero-electric-utv-energy-capacity-tesla/

NMC811 isn’t a miracle battery. It uses a lot less cobalt than NMC333 or even the newish NMC622. The big problem with 811 is cycle life. Of course, a car with 620 mile range only needs ~300 cycles over it’s 200k mile life.

Hmmmm….

That said, I doubt Roadster2 is 811 — the energy density doesn’t really work.

@Doggy
“That said, I doubt Roadster2 is 811 — the energy density doesn’t really work.”

We don’t know the energy density of 811 for sure. but I did see one paper that said 260 wh/kg which is about what 811 is. So I tend to agree NCA and NMC811 are close to the same energy density.

We just don’t know sure. Maybe Tesla has a better NCA now. It wouldn’t surprise me.

But I think the cost factor swings it in NMC811’s favor and that’s a required ingrediant for the truck.

We can only speculate.

“To deliver its promised range of 620 miles, it will need a 200 kWh battery pack, twice the size of Tesla’s largest currently available pack.”

The pack would be smaller than 200 kWh. It will be a smaller lighter car than even the Model 3 which has a 310 mile range from a 75 kWh pack.

That means the Roadster could get 620 miles from a 150 kWh pack. That extra 75 kWhs would add weight reducing range but the smaller size of the rest of the car could offset that. Especially if it used a new more energy dense and lighter cell by 2020.

But Tesla have already said it has a 200kWh pack.

Exactly! Some people are not paying attention!

Weight has a much lower effect then in gassers.

Weight plays a roll in 2 resistances a car faces, inertia and rolling resistance. Inertial, is larger of the 2 but with regen 70-85% is returned.

They have to have something up their sleeve in order to pack a 200 kWh pack into a very small Roadster 2.0, as there is no way for them to fit a 200 kWh pack into a Roadster with current battery tech.

@Bro
“They have to have something up their sleeve in order to pack a 200 kWh pack into a very small Roadster 2.0, as there is no way for them to fit a 200 kWh pack into a Roadster with current battery tech.”

Someone at TMC forums took a side view of the new Roadster photo and determined it had a length approximately equal to the Model 3.

Musk said the most cells they can fit in a 3 was around 80 kwh.

So a double decker Roadster pack would be 160 kwh’s.

Tesla isn’t going to put two 100 kW Model S/X packs under the floor of the Roadster Gen II. That would raise the floor too high. What Tesla will likely do is to use a single layer under the floor plus some modules stacked under the hood and behind the back seat.

The idea that Tesla couldn’t figure out how to stuff 200 kWh worth of current batteries into the Roadster Gen II… well, people shouldn’t try so hard to think only inside the box.

PMPU said:
“Tesla isn’t going to put two 100 kW Model S/X packs under the floor of the Roadster Gen II.”

I never said they were. All I was doing is giving you an idea of the footprint of the pack. If you can’t double stack there’s no way they will even get close to 200. The volumetric energy density numbers won’t work.

The truck will use stacked cells. Tesla will have to use a whole new structural and perhaps thermal management system in the truck pack.

The idea of them double stacking 2 layers of cells in the Roadster IS NOT a silly idea as you keep saying. It will be a smaller version of the truck pack.

If you are arguing that only one layer of cells is required then there is no way you are going to figure out where to put another 1.5 layers.

So if you are going to argue for only one layer of cells then you have to have a better volumetric energy density.

“The idea of them double stacking 2 layers of cells in the Roadster IS NOT a silly idea as you keep saying. It will be a smaller version of the truck pack.”

I’m afraid I still don’t see what it is you’re trying to say here, GeorgeS.

It is a silly idea to suggest they will double-stack cells under the floor. You can tell that just by glancing at the car. It’s much too low-slung for there to be two layers of battery packs underneath the floor. The floor of the car is obviously lower than that. As Doggydogwood said, with two layers of batteries underneath, the floor would be higher than a minivan’s!

Now, if you mean the cells will be stacked two high… or even a lot more than two high… in other areas of the car, probably under the hood and behind the back seat, then I entirely agree. Let’s remember that the original Roadster’s battery pack was all behind the seats (of which there were only two), and it was nearly square in cross-section. I don’t know now many layers of battery cells was inside, but it was certainly a lot more than two!


The original Tesla Roadster’s battery pack

And that First Roadster Pack Started at 53 kWh, and now they offer a fresh 70 kWh upgrade, in that space! Just finding another 30 or so kWh space might be tricky, but not impossible! And if the cells are just 10% more energy dense, that improves the picture quite a bit!

Are you sure?

It would be fair to say that, Everything at this point is clearly “Only Speculation”, Nothing More* Nothing Less*,A good brain teaser, Until Tesla Lets The Cat out of the bag…

They don’t need to have anything, just a semi-working mockup to raise more money from faithful.

When they will need to deliver, they will try to figure out something. Maybe license SS batteries from Toyota, or whatever. Obviously later than 2019.

You just won’t stop no matter how many times you are and will be continuoesly proven to be wrong..Go snooze, back to your z’s! …. lmao

zzzzzzzzzz continued his kl?wn komment serial Tesla bashing campaign:

“They don’t need to have anything, just a semi-working mockup to raise more money from faithful.

“When they will need to deliver, they will try to figure out something.”

Didn’t you say something quite similar about the Tesla Model 3, Mr. FUDster?

How did that work out for you?
😆 😆 😆

SS isn’t a NEW breakthrough, installing them into a Model 3 while still getting 220 miles of EPA range and a MSRP of $35K would be a breakthrough…They’re offering these on two vehicles which cost over $150K…

Mass produced solid state batteries most certainly would be a new breakthrough.

Lots of techs get demonstrated in the lab, without ever finding any practical application. And I don’t mean just battery cell tech, either.

Not that I’m suggesting Tesla has the secret to mass producing solid state batteries. I think there’s a decided lack of healthy skepticism being demonstrated in the speculation here.

I believe, that there are more than 2 steps: Lab > Mass Production!

It would seem that there would have to be at least one Pilot Production process, at least for the larger form factor (2170) cells, since Lab Tests, usually test ‘Coin Cells’, which are wafer thin circles, like Watch Batteries.

Then, there would possibly be some ‘Medium Volune’ plant, to test a few Hundred kWh Production per Month in the new Chemistry, and Cell format, for Consistency, Qualty, and Stability, before a full step up to ‘Mass Production!’

It would be at this point that Tesla could easily build a few Hand Built Semi’s, or Roadsters, for starting Actual Field Durability & Longevity Testing! That might even be where they already are in this process!

“Elon Musk and Tesla have made some bold claims for the new Tesla Semi and Roadster. Those who understand batteries have been scratching their figurative heads trying to figure out how the company can deliver the specs it’s promising – and concluding that the only possible way is some as-yet-unannounced advance in battery technology.” As far as the Roadster Gen II goes, this is nonsense. There is plenty of room inside an EV, even a small one, to stuff battery modules into nooks and crannies. There have been several cases of stunts where people stuffed a lot of batteries into a small car to make it go a surprising distance. German battery maker DBM did that as a publicity stunt back in 2010, stuffing a lot of batteries into an Audi A2 and driving it ~375 miles (link below), and of course battery energy density has improved since. It seems pretty clear that Tesla won’t stuff 200 kWh worth of batteries under the floor of the Roadster Gen II, but they could certainly put some modules under the hood and behind the rear seat. There’s too much thinking inside the box going on here. * * * * * Now,… Read more »

They have a Laser Beam Razor that actually shaves hair just below the skin level, but above the root….lol…Believe it , or not !

The thing that caught my eye was the rather objective statement in the article that Tesla is currently paying $1.00 / kwh at current superchargers.

I thought that rate was only possible in NYC during the afternoon summer during “SuperPeak” times.

I expect that in most SuperCharger places, the DEMAND is the majority of the electric bill, but $1.00 seems unrealistically high….

Big difference between 7 cents and 100.

Superchargers stress the grid. Those costs are probably burst surcharges.

Or, maybe his claim that Tesla pays $1/kWh is just as wrong as several other of the rather clueless things he asserts.

Reality check: Commercial and industrial companies pay lower rates for electricity than residential customers, not higher rates as you’re suggesting, f?ur or 5 or 6 Electrics.

Sorry, this discussion is over your head – its wrong to criticize an analyst when you haven’t proven his ignorance.

The ‘industrial 6 cents / kwh ‘ price assumes at least 350 hours usage per month. While some California locales might get 50-100 hours at peak demands, most of the lessor used SC’s probably have 30. The ones with 30 hours of peak demand do not pay 6 cents.
I’m sure you didn’t know that.

Well you can’t be polite with Pushi since he’s just like a snot-nosed rebellious kindergartner. I’ve advised how to easily lower electric bills on commercial, and one industrial user, namely the Steel Plant I worked for.

Have you big experts even seen an electric bill from such an establishment, or more importantly know how to interpret it, or know how it would change if you adjusted your usage somehow?

The answer is a BIG NO to all of the above , but that doesn’t stop you guys from criticizing others who know more than you – like for instance zzzzzzzz.

Do we know for certain that Tesla isn’t cutting incentive deals on SC locations? While most are stand alones, a fair amount are in retail parking lots…

Of course we don’t know that. I think it’s reasonable to assume that when a retail location such as Sheetz has just a few Superchargers installed, there is some sort of cost-sharing arrangement with the retail store. Surely Sheetz would at least give Tesla the land for free. Possibly Sheetz also contributes some toward the cost of the installation? After all, the superchargers will attract more people to Sheetz stores; people who will have nothing to do but hang around the store and spend money! A win-win for both Tesla and Sheetz. And it’s been reported that Tesla was in talks with Sheetz for some months before the first Supercharger appeared at any Sheetz store, so it’s not exactly jumping to a conclusion to conclude that some sort of partnership was arranged there. More questionable is when Tesla puts in a full-bore Tesla station, with a restaurant nearby. Does Tesla approach the restaurant and ask them to contribute to the cost of the installation? Who would know other than Tesla and the restaurant owner? But I haven’t seen any reports that Tesla has ever been in talks with such local businesses, so my guess is that Tesla doesn’t form any… Read more »

These so-called analysts have their head in the sand.

Elon clearly stated the ‘Mega Chargers’ will have multiple ‘Power Packs’ to buffer the supply from the grid or solar panels. This eliminates the ‘demand’ charges and allows the ‘Power Pack’s to recharge either from solar or in the middle of the night when electricity is cheap … in my area it’s less than 2 cents/kWh from 10:00 pm ~ 6:00 am.

Bill Howland
“The thing that caught my eye was the rather objective statement in the article that Tesla is currently paying $1.00 / kwh at current superchargers.”

It includes CapEx and OpEx of charger network. Break-even at current utilization rates may be close to $1/kWh. It would go down at higher utilization rates, but peak demand charges from grid may also go up eventually, and it isn’t like batteries will get cheap enough any time soon to use them for arbitrage.

Not just one, but two serial Tesla bashers posting here about “demand charges” as if those have a significant impact on Tesla’s costs, despite all evidence and common sense to the contrary.

It’s almost like the Tesla haters are copying each others’ FUD…
🙄

Also, your assertion here, Mr. Tesla hater, is just as absurd as several in the article. Nobody would include costs of equipment and construction in a “per kWh” cost for electricity! Or at least, nobody with more sense than you and the other Tesla FUDsters.

Ok zzzzzzzz if you are meaning that he was saying the 99cents/kwh is INCLUDING ALL costs, not just the pure electric ones, I could buy that, and yes then it seems reasonable.

It was in the way the article phrased the statement.

“It isn’t just the capacity of the battery that’s causing analysts to wear out their calculators – Musk’s claim that the Tesla Semi will be able to add 400 miles of charge in 30 minutes would require a charging system 10 times more powerful than Tesla’s current Supercharger – which is already by far the most powerful in the industry.”

Well these “analysts” need to learn more about EV tech. ProTerra has an EV bus charger that charges at 500 kW. Tesla’s Megacharger wouldn’t need to handle more than about 2-1/2 times as much power as that. And it’s not like high voltage power systems are something new, either. Industry routinely handles high voltage on an everyday basis; the engineering was worked out decades or even centuries ago!

The amount of misinformation in Evannex’s article is pretty disappointing, to say the least.

PMPU said:
“Well these “analysts” need to learn more about EV tech.”

Agreed. If I see the supposed battery experts quote one more time my head will explode;

” Jalopnik’s David Tracy spoke with battery expert Venkat Viswanathan.

Viswanathan told Jalopnik that the most modern battery cells offer specific energy of about 240 watt-hours per kilogram. Using that assumption, the Roadster’s 200 kWh battery pack should weigh roughly 1,800 pounds, a huge advance over the previous-generation Roadster.”

Since when is 240 wh/kg a “huge advance”. Telsa has had this density for years.

Yup, and you can put that stat right up there with how BNEF until recently still claimed battery costs were $273/KWh.

Bloomberg’s new analyst group isn’t “sell side”, and has at times been a good counter-weight to the lopsided miss-information coming from fossil fuels, and the investment community that supports them. Why the whole of Bloomberg seems to turn on TSLA, I have no clue.

Been reading the speculation and thinking how an entire community of people are set to guessing about most everything Elon Musk does and says. Much fun to watch…But, beware of those whose motives and in some cases even their jobs, are to manipulate the stock, i.e., Bloombergs, Goldman, Lux, etc.

‘Since when is 240 wh/kg a “huge advance”. Telsa has had this density for years.’

It is at least a moderately large advance over what Tesla was using in the original Roadster. They never said it was a huge advance over current cells.

Isn’t it more likely that they can’t yet deliver what they’re promising? Instead they’re banking on battery advances over the next 3-5 years.

Promising the “impossible” and then figuring it out later (with a delayed delivery) seems to be a common strategy at Tesla.

+1

“Promising the Impossible seems to be the way at Tesla”.

Well CCIE, as I read it, the analyst wasn’t meaning impossible in the absolute sense – I took it to mean ‘impossible’ without subsidizing it.

So I don’t see that as a big deal, since they are obviously successful at running the superchargers – it costing them 98 or 99 cents/ kwh (per this analyst) and then mostly giving all the juice away.

If they can subsidize the superchargers they can subsidize the truck stops too.

As Long as the stock market keeps going up, I don’t see this as being a problem for their unique business model.

If Tesla does have an advance, can they be made in cylindrical cell format? There is a big question. If not, the GF is obsolete.

I would expect to see giant consumer battery packs if there is a new chemistry out there. Currently, they are 60v (and 58v and 56v). Dewalt’s new flex battery (60v) can be stacked in some of their tools to 120v. (compressor, chop saw, circ saw)

I already have 58v tools from EGO, but, they are huge and probably use existing tech such as the 20v Dewalt line.

If and this is a big if, Tesla could get their new advanced called into the Model 3 at the current price, Tesla doesn’t need to sell their batteries to companies like Dewalt…

Not only their vehicles for more and more global energy storage projects will come online…Next their Semi “mega” chargers will certainly require an ungodly amount of batteries…

GF would not be obsolete, if there came a new chemistry, or a solid state battery becomes a reality. Huge parts of a battery factory is for material handling, mixing, potential purification of chemicals and so on. For some materials temperature or humidity is key for safety and success. Then you have a paper, fabric or a mix of the two – that get coated, paired with a thin insulator, and then rolled, or folded (depending on type of cell), packed in a cylinder or box, or they just send large rolls of coated (in paste) paper (bonded with insulator material) to battery assy. factories – that does not make the cell material themselves. Then an electrolyte is injected, and the batteries are sealed. I’ve only seen one type of lithium battery with a semi solid design. It was a flat pouch test battery, and we opened one up. It was only a duel layer battery, that was soft(ish). It had a gel like electrolyte/cell mix and a fairly thin rubbery material, that was transparent and felt like Orbeez (or what ever they are called). Just like the gel state you have before you make aerogel. Anyway, this layer worked… Read more »

john doe said:

“GF would not be obsolete, if there came a new chemistry, or a solid state battery becomes a reality.

“Huge parts of a battery factory is for material handling, mixing, potential purification of chemicals and so on.”

Oh, how terribly unfair of you to use actual facts and logic in an argument! 😉

But seriously, thank you for refuting that Tesla bashing assertion which has been made so often that I suppose some believe it. If a radically new tech such as solid state batteries was to be commercialized, then Gigafactory One would certainly have to have some changes made to the production lines inside, and no doubt for such a radical shift in tech the changes would not be cheap. But the idea that the entire factory would just be abandoned is pretty silly.

Take, for example, Ionic Materials’ prototype solid state battery. It uses lithium ions for energy storage, just like current EV batteries. So, if that tech were to be commercialized and Tesla or Panasonic were to license the tech, then much or most of the equipment in Gigafactory One which refines lithium ion solution from lithium carbonate would still be used.

Innovation? Ha ha ha.

Let’s call Panasonic and ask if they had a breakthrough. Tesla doesn’t make batteries.

If Tesla doesn’t make batteries ,that $5 Billion investment is for sh!ts & giggles….just a waste of money …r o t f l m a o

Based on past history, battery performance increases about 5 percent per year. That may not seem like a lot but compounded over time, like compound interest, results in significant gains over time. But increasing performance due to improved chemistry doesn’t happen gradually like money in a savings account. Improvements in battery chemistry happen in big jumps every few years. Judging by how much money and effort invested in Tesla’s gigafactory, it would be surprising to NOT see a huge jump in battery performance AND a huge drop in cost.

Only 5 percent per year? No, it’s significantly better than that. A few years ago it was said that energy density was improving at about 7-8 percent per year, but more recently, within the past 2-3 years, that has jumped ahead quite a bit. Also, the costs were coming down at something like 15% per year, but again recently there was a significant jump in lowered prices.

Seriously OT but it’s funny how Tesla’s tractor cab clearance lights don’t actually demarcate the cab’s clearance.

Semi doesn’t need a technology breakthrough, just cheaper battery costs. They won’t sell non-Founder’s series in volume until 2021-22. GM says they’ll be below $100/kWh by then, Tesla’s “expected pricing” probably assumes $75/kWh. And we all know their track record on pricing.

Roadster2 needs a new battery chemistry. Probably solid state. Cost doesn’t matter (within reason).

The Roadster2 prototype probably had 50 kWh of Toshiba SCiB prismatics or similar. Very high power output but too heavy for the production version.

Anyone who says the prototype had a double-stack of Model S packs in the floor should be banned from the internet. The floor would be higher than my minivan. Use your brains, people!

“Anyone who says the prototype had a double-stack of Model S packs in the floor should be banned from the internet. The floor would be higher than my minivan. Use your brains, people!”

That is indeed a facepalm-stupid assertion. Critical thinking is apparently in short supply among all too many of the self-appointed “analysts” commenting on the tech shown in Tesla’s Semi Truck and the Roadster Gen II.

+1

Add two years to the delivery schedules and everything falls in line with the rest of the industry. Tesla always announces wildly optimistic delivery schedules, rather than take their announcements at face value you should always assume a later date and a higher price.

Salim Morsy is neither JB Straubel not Elon Musk, he is just an employee in BNEF who takes money from big oil and asks its employees to write what they say. He does not need to understand anything. Tesla knows what they are doing and that’s why more and more companies are placing orders for their Semi. In the beginning of the year, bloomberg’s new energy finance said that the Lithium battery costs $230 / Kwh and now they are saying it costs $209 / Kwh. Did the year see only a decrease of $21 / Kwh. More than 1 million plugin vehicles were sold Worldwide this year and the mass production of batteries should have pushed the battery price to below $180 / KWh or even lower. Although the mainstream media gave more importance to the Roadster, its the Semi that is getting more orders because these vehicles will be used almost everyday and many hours / day and will get the ROI faster and reduce as much diesel as possible. On the other hand, Roadster will be used by the few rich only for leisure trips where only 1 or 2 passengers travel. Roadster will be rarely used… Read more »

“…the mass production of batteries should have pushed the battery price to below $180 / KWh or even lower.”

Better informed analysts were suggesting $180/kWh for Tesla’s pack-level costs a year or two ago, well before Tesla started getting battery cells from Gigafactory One. I think it’s safe to conclude that Tesla’s costs are even lower now.

There has been a lot of speculation over just how far Tesla’s battery costs have dropped. Some are even suggesting cell costs are now below $100/kW at the cell level, but my guess is that they are still somewhat above that mark. But Tesla’s price for the Semi Truck will anticipate battery prices in two years, when they certainly may be under $100/kWh for cells from Gigafactory One. Expect pack-level costs to be something like 20-30% higher.

@Don

Yea, amazing how many people repeats Salim Morsy’s nonsense. A political science grad with a fresh MBA who formerly worked for Big Oil. No background in engineering or finance.

At least Cosmin Laslau from Lux Research has a Ph.D. When he was new (a few years ago), he was spouting the same crap too about how Tesla’s batteries and numbers just don’t make any sense. Since then he had to eat humble pie and Lux has published more credible reports.

So there’s about 3.5 million semis on the road in the US each day
Convert 10% of them to Tesla semi’s = 350k trucks
Lets keep it simple and charge them up 1 time each day. At 30 mins per charge, we have 48 30min blocks p/ 24hr day giving us 7292 trucks to charge per 30min block. (yeah yeah, they are on a magic synchronized schedule)
7292 trucks at 1.2MW per charger = 8750 MW of additional load.

With 8084 power plants in IS > 1MW we have added about 1.1 MW to each plant.
Lets round it up to 1.5MW to account for rectification and line losses etc and it’s still pocket change for a multi GW power plant.

…a charging system 10 times more powerful than Tesla’s current Supercharger – which is already by far the most powerful in the industry “I don’t understand how that works,” said Bloomberg New Energy Finance EV Analyst Salim Morsy. “I really don’t.”

This clown calling himself an ‘EV analyst’ should apply for a new job. Large industries routinely draw >1 MW of power from the grid. How much does he think an aluminium smelter need?

Tesla being a battery specialist, you can bet they install a buffer battery average out the power demand and mostly draw power off-peak when the price is low.

“he estimates that Tesla will pay a minimum of 40 cents per kWh”

Huh? That is, what, 5-10 times the average price in the US? Why would they pay more than anyone else? Also, he’s overlooking the elephant in the room I guess: the buffer battery to even out the load on the grid.

Actually, the draw on the grid is going to be an issue SOONER than most ppl realize.

A single charger is going to draw 1.6 MW/h.
Not a big deal. RIght?
Except how many pumps at a truck stop?
MINIMUM 10. And with a 4/5 charge taking 30 minutes, you can bet that many of these truck stops will end up with 20 chargers.

But, lets assume 10.
That means that a single truck stop can go 16 MW/hr. Than add another 10 superchargers for vehicles and you are you at 17 MW/hr.
Add for location (restaurant, sleeping, etc, and you are probably looking at 10-20 MW/h during the day and for a SMALL 10 charger system.
Next put several of these around a city.
Most cities only have 200-500 MW and this will add a minimum of 20 MW to the grid. 5-10% is NOT a small amount.

Yeah sorry Windbourne I simply don’t see this as a problem.

Tesla is not under the rosiest scenario going to be displacing ALL trucks all at once. And not every single one of them needs to charge in 30 minutes… The driver has to sleep sometime.

As the need arises more truck stop charging facilities will be built.
Its not a huge amount of electricity anyway.

Each current SC bay runs 2 stalls. They could conceivably take the existing 120 kw output ‘bay’ and have it charge one Tesla Semi for 8 hours. Lets assume the input is 145 kw to the bay, and per your example it is a relatively large electric truck stop and everyone (all ten of them) are charging.

SO that’s around 1500 kw. Rather like a Super-Duper WallMart.

And if they are charging over the midnight hour, there is plenty of central station capacity to accomplish that and no new powerstations need to be built at all.

Tesla always builds the lowest first-cost way, so that means 277Y/480 low voltage facilities available anywhere. 2500 ampere service for 10 trucks. Not a biggie.

Clueless report. Don’t think that any company would preorder a truck without having a serious look at what the specs are and have verified them. Most like a number of companies have had demonstrations as well.

https://electrek.co/2016/07/08/tesla-roadster-3-0-battery-upgrade-r80/

600 mile range for the roadster would ‘only’ be a 50% battery pack capacity increase on the upgraded V1 Roadster.

Martin Winlow maybe my pencil is getting rusty, but last I checked 50% more of 70 kwh is not 200 kwh.

The two cars only have the same name. They are totally different cars.

Sigh. This is going to confuse a lot of people.

> estimates that Tesla will pay a minimum of 40 cents per kWh

Clearly, this is an estimate of the *total cost* of providing the fast charging service, NOT an estimate of Tesla’s energy prices.

Wholesale, electricity is extremely cheap. Have a look for yourself:

https://www.eia.gov/electricity/wholesale/xls/ice_electric-2017.xlsx

Or find the link on the web page (“current year (2017)”, high up, under the “electricity” bullet point):

https://www.eia.gov/electricity/wholesale/

The highest high registered on any of these exchanges in 2017..? $60 per MWh. In other words $0.06 per kWh.

Just so I don’t create more confusion rather than clarify: I am *not* saying the analyst is an idiot. I am saying her or his estimate of 40 cents per kWh is obviously an estimate of the total cost.

Tesla’s estimate of 7 cents is a bit more than twice the average of wholesale prices in 2017 (3.3 cents per kWh). I don’t understand how they can cover their costs, but I haven’t attempted to estimate total cost either – I just assume the energy cost is a pretty small part of the total.

Terawatt – Demand charges are a big deal (as Straubel has mentioned). A $25/kW demand charge is $10k+/month if 4 Teslas converge on a remote Supercharger station that averages only 10 cars/day. At 15,000 kWhs for the month you’d pay ~70 cents/kWh just in demand charges.

Masri says they can use Powerpacks as a buffer at the Megachargers. But you need volume to justify the upfront expense. Powerpacks cost more than they save at remote stations.

Yeah Doggy, and there are other complications.

Factories in my area take a 115 kv feed – a minimum of 2 of them since the local utility DOESN’T GUARANTEE ANY ONE OF THEM WILL BE WORKING at any one time. Their definition of reliability for these customers is if EITHER feeder happens to be working.

Therefore, the customer has to finance expensive switching equipment (with expensive lightning and fault-current protection) themselves. Along with an emergency powering scheme (large batteries, generator, etc) to OPERATE the switchgear should the utility switch things around on the customer. The largest customers are notified that a switch will be happening.

Of course, they get a big discount on the demand charges ($5.73/kw plus tax, vs 13/kw plus tax), and I’m in an area considered very economical for them. High demands are further penalized in that the energy charge per kwh goes up.

The utility is trying to basically incentivize 24 hour a day usage to maximize their investments. Other features include ‘load shedding’ where a customer is given a bonus if he disconnects his loading (or at least some of it) on Aug 1st when electricity is very dear.

I had just assumed there were some important improvements to the battery tech allowing for some of the surprising specs. (Whether we want to call them a “breakthrough” or not.) My reasoning: – The specs for both the Semi and Roadster are surprising. Even given they are coming in 2-3 years time. Even for Tesla. And even accounting for some hype. Keep in mind: In 2012, the max Model S battery size was 85kwh and 6 years later, it’s 100kwh. The Roadster had 53kwh in 2006, upgraded to 80kwh in 2014. 200kwh in a smaller car is way out of trend for them. – The size and weight of 200kwh worth of *today’s* batteries doesn’t seem to square with the *prototype* Roadster’s capabilities. But it is already achieving its specs, according to Tesla, and may do better once released. – The same applies to the *prototype* Semi, whatever size battery it may turn out to have. And all but one of the Semi’s specs have been confirmed for the current prototype by a third party. – The Semi and the Roadster were launched at the same event. Why? In principle, they have nothing to do with each other. – In… Read more »

The Semi can meet all announced specs with Powerpack-type NMC cells. The big issue is cost/kWh. Solid state or other nextgen cells won’t be nearly cheap enough for many years.

The Roadster can afford expensive nextgen cells. I’m confident the prototype wasn’t using them, though. The “all night” comment, while true, is not new. A 2-3 second burst followed by a two minute cooldown is easy. Model 3, Model S and even the Roadster all did repeated demo rides at their launch events.

The battery really should not be the issue. The reason is that Musk hired some of the top ppl in the field and it would be amazing if they did NOT make progress. The real focus should be on the recharge. Charging 4/5 MW in .5 hr? That is around 1.6 MW/hr draw and that is just ONE vehicle. Many cities have 100-500 MW generation capacity. Thats it. And much of that is in use during the day. Assuming that a typical truck stop has 10 or more pumps AND Add to that the SuperChargers and we are looking at MAJOR draws on these. In fact, each EV truck stop with say 10 chargers, will pull more than any of today’s major factories. And if several truck are put around a city, you are looking at more than 50 MW being needed. Musk battery buffering should be useful, but, it will add a lot of costs. Personally, I wonder if a flow battery, or even H2 fuel cell will not be cheaper, but obviously musk has ideas. But it will mean that utilities are going to need solid on-demand electricity sources. The question becomes from where? Coal? Nat Gas? Nukes?… Read more »

My comment further up shows these things use really a trivial amount of electricity.

Of all the things to worry about, utility electricity supply ain’t one of them.

As far as ‘Home use’ of the $250,000 roadster – or whatever that Founder thing costs, they haven’t mentioned home charging rates for the 200 KWH battery.

I’d imagine 19.2 kw but they may also allow TWO Tesla HPWC’s so in that case 38.4 kw.

Judging typical tesla losses, I’d guess that a ‘2 – hpwc’ recharge facility at home (160 ampere continuous load) would be 6 1/2 hours.

Anyone who can afford this car is going to have a 300 or 400 ampere single phase service in the states, and in the rare case where the utility does not provide residential (‘domestic’) connections this large – the owner can either suffer along with less, or else opt for demand charged commercial rates.

Whatever their existing home service is, the owner will be incentivized to charge over the midnight hour (when he is sleeping anyway), and most of the other crap in the house isn’t using much.

I pay only 11 cents per kwhr for my home – and that’s for 100% renewable electricity. Why on earth does anyone think Tesla will pay 40 cents to a dollar per kwhr?
The article makes zero sense to me in that regard…

I guess TESLA is upfront with batterie technology than anyone else in the world . Panasonic is a leading company and they work closely with TESLA. Nobody else there have that much experience to produce batteries for EV´s. The same is true in terms of autonomous driving. No other company have that much data. Google definitely NOT ! 200.000 TESLA´s driving around science 7 Yrs and collecting DATA. Pattern recognition is the point. Not LIDAR , which according to my knowledge is a wrong way. Its working well for single Molecules but pattern recognition ? And the Laser is a high intense one… ? 🙄😇 OK wait and see.