In the early morning of September 23, Beijing time, Tesla will hold "battery day" after the shareholders' meeting. According to the poster released by Tesla earlier, the theme of this investor activity may be a brand new battery based on silicon nanowires.Silicon nanowires are a new type of semiconductor nano-cell material. Recently, developers of new lithium battery materials have moved the company to the Tesla Fremont factory Amprius, They have made great achievements in the research of silicon nanowires. Its silicon nanowire battery has higher energy density and lighter weight and volume.
"Many exciting things will be released on Battery Day ." Before Battery Day officially began, Tesla CEO Elon Musk had been preheated on social media ," the day will be crazy ."
Tesla originally planned to hold a "battery day" in April this year to introduce the company's latest battery technology achievements to investors. However, due to the impact of the new crown epidemic, the date of "battery day" was postponed for many times, and was finally postponed to September.
The outside world has high expectations for Tesla's investor activities, especially in the transformation of traditional automobile enterprises to the field of electrification. Tesla needs to show its technical strength in the battery field to attract investors to continue to bet on Tesla. Earlier this year, Thomas Ulrich, a member of VW's board specializing in electric vehicles, said that Tesla had started building electric vehicles and software 10 years earlier than its competitors.
New battery: millions of miles of batteries?
A few days before the "battery day", foreign media exposed the products of Roadrunner, a battery project independently developed by Tesla. The product is a large cylindrical battery with a diameter twice that of the 2170 cylindrical battery currently being used by Tesla.
At present, the size of the 2170 cylindrical battery is 21mm in diameter and 70mm in length, which means that the cell volume of the large battery is four times that of the existing cell. If the battery can be fully utilized, Tesla's model will greatly increase the capacitance, reduce the number of cells and assembly sets, and reduce the cost.
In addition, Reuters earlier reported that Tesla will launch a "million mile" battery on Battery Day, and the battery may be developed in conjunction with the Ningde era. The so-called "million miles" battery means that after the battery uses 1 million miles (1.6 million kilometers), it still holds more than 70% capacity.
The research and development of this type of battery has been laid out in Ningde era. According to the information disclosed by the company earlier, the battery adopts self-healing and long-life technology, which can run for 16 years or 2 million kilometers. Compared with the current battery, the cost increases by no more than 10%, and it has the capacity of mass production.
"Tesla is expected to mass produce batteries with longer life and 50% higher energy density within three to four years," Musk said on social media. 400wh / kg has a high cycle life and mass production (not just laboratory production) is not far away. It could take three to four years. " At present, the energy density of the 2170 battery used in Tesla Model 3 is about 260wh / kg, and 400wh / kg means an increase of 50% compared with the current energy density.
New material: no cobalt battery debut?
Musk has always wanted to reduce the cost of power batteries, because power batteries account for nearly 40% of the cost of electric vehicles. In order to promote the popularization of electric vehicles, the cost should be further reduced. Therefore, at the beginning of this year, it was reported that Tesla will adopt the "cobalt free" battery provided by Ningde era, namely lithium iron phosphate battery.
But tesla shanghai superworks also said on its official account that "no cobalt does not necessarily mean lithium iron phosphate ".
For the understanding of "cobalt free" battery, the outside world thinks that this means to eliminate the cobalt component in nickel cobalt manganese ternary lithium battery. In the power battery, the cost of cobalt is very high. Power battery manufacturers have developed power batteries to reduce the proportion of cobalt. From 523 to 622 and then to 811 in recent years, the proportion of cobalt has decreased again and again.
However, lithium iron phosphate battery is another "cobalt-free" battery, and its cost is lower, but not as good as ternary lithium battery. In Musk's view, lithium iron phosphate battery can be used as an effective supplement to ternary battery capacity. "The cost advantage of lithium iron phosphate batteries is partly offset by an increase in Pack quality, so the cost of lithium iron phosphate batteries after pack is close to that of ternary lithium batteries ."
In addition, in a second quarter earnings call, musk said, "if you're mining nickel efficiently in an environmentally friendly way, Tesla will offer you a huge contract for a long time."
Nickel can improve the energy density of power battery, so high nickel cathode materials (ncm811 and NCA) are considered as the development trend of power battery in the future. Tesla and domestic mainstream battery manufacturers are promoting the development and application of high nickel battery materials. It is expected that the demand for nickel cathode materials will continue to increase by 2.29 million tons of NCA cathode materials in 2020, accounting for about 2.26 million tons of nickel cathode materials in China by 2025.
According to foreign media sources, Tesla is negotiating with Giga Metals Corporation, a Canadian mining company, to buy low-carbon nickel metals. Once the news is true, the demand for nickel may increase significantly. CAITONG securities predicted in its research report that the demand for nickel in power batteries will increase from 40000 tons at present to 800000 tons in 2030, with an average annual compound growth rate of 35%.
One more thing： battery recycling or a bright spot
In addition to the release of new batteries, Tesla has recently launched a battery recycling program. Tesla's lithium-ion battery can be recycled and reused, its official website said ." The battery material is refined into a battery and remains in the battery core when the service life expires, when valuable materials can be extracted for reuse ."
Musk previously said that Tesla's power battery life is about 300000-500,000 kilometers, if need to replace, the battery price varies according to the model, the price is between $3000-7000.
Incidentally, the company that Tesla's former chief technology officer JB Straubel founded is Redwood Materials focused on battery recycling technology, and the company's address is near the Tesla plant. JB Straubel said in a recent media interview that Redwood Materials is a "reverse super factory ", the company's goal is to reduce the price of power batteries by recycling batteries and then providing battery materials such as nickel, cobalt and lithium again.
he said the power batteries that will be phased out in the next few years can be stripped from electric vehicles and recycled for use as their core materials, rebuilding new power batteries —— in this closed loop, almost no material will be wasted.