Failing to revolutionize the battery, Tesla announced Tuesday a series of technical improvements supposed to allow it to halve its production cost.
“How many years can we accelerate the adoption of sustainable energy? This is the real measure of success, ”said Elon Musk. In the face of climate change, “we must act”, he said.
With this in mind, the entrepreneur said he was “confident” in the group’s ability to quickly offer an electric car at 25,000 dollars (21,404.8 euros), a reduction of at least 10,000 dollars (8,562 euros) compared to the base model it currently offers for sale. Achieving this requires reducing the cost of batteries.
Read also: Tesla wins its race against time
To do this, Tesla, in a fairly technical presentation, exposed several advances at various stages of battery design: on the design of cells, on the production line, on the use of silicone, on the manufacturing of the cathode and the metals used, and on the integration into the car itself. All this should ultimately make it possible to reduce the production cost of a kilowatt hour by 56%.
Increased reliance on silicone for the new battery
Elon Musk “has not revolutionized the nature of the battery or the way it works,” remarks Karl Brauer, analyst for the specialized site iSeeCars. “But a more efficient way to produce the battery and to generate and conserve the energy inside the battery.”
The group presented “a multitude of small advances on the design of the battery or the car around the battery, allowing it to reduce its cost significantly, to increase the production speed and the distance it can cover”, he stressed to Agence France Presse (AFP).
The two most interesting things to him are the increased use of silicone, a readily available material, and the use of the battery as a structural part of the car.
The article of May 16, 2018: Batteries, the sinews of war for electric cars
Tesla is keen to play the leading roles in batteries, the key element for the future of electric vehicles, in order to increase its lead over other car manufacturers, which still derive the majority of their revenues from vehicles with thermal engines (diesel or gasoline).
Innovations for mass production from 2022
Elon Musk has always had in mind to convince drivers to adopt electric vehicles en masse. “We don’t have really inexpensive cars yet, but we will,” he said on Tuesday. It remains to be seen whether the amount of $ 25,000 will be enough to convince as many people as they want.
Covid-19 requires, the presentation was held outside, the speakers succeeding on a podium in front of the shareholders who had been able to make the trip, installed at the wheel of a little more than 200 cars of the brand clearly arranged on a large car park.
Used to media blows, the entrepreneur of South African origin had promised on Twitter on September 11 that he would lift the veil on “many exciting things” during this event already postponed several times.
Read more: Tesla close to Toyota’s $ 216 billion capitalization
Elon Musk, however, calmed the enthusiasm of the most enthusiastic Monday night by stressing that the innovations presented would not reach “real mass production before 2022”. Before adding a few hours later: “People do not fully understand the extreme difficulty of mass-producing new technologies.” He stressed during the presentation on Tuesday that some of the innovations presented were not yet working but were “very close” to doing so.