According to the latest news, Tesla is trying to make cheaper battery cells for its Tesla Model 3 fleet in China. Tesla is also rigorously researching electric batteries. The new battery is said to leverage low-cobalt and cobalt-free battery chemistries, plus chemical additives, materials, and coatings, all of which should help reduce stress and allow the battery to store more energy, longer. Simultaneously, it'll also introduce a new system developed by its partner Contemporary Amperex Technology that removes the step of having to bundle cells prior to their installation in final battery packs, which will bring down battery pack unit weight and costs.
Tesla also plans to implement new high-speed, heavily automated battery manufacturing processes created to reduce labor costs and increase production in massive "terafactories" about 30 times the size of the company's sprawling Nevada "gigafactory" - a strategy telegraphed in late April to analysts by Musk.
Tesla is reportedly close to announcing a new battery that promises to last much longer than current batteries, and cost less to produce.
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"We've got to really make sure we get a very steep ramp in battery production and continue to improve the cost per kilowatt-hour of the batteries - this is very fundamental and extremely hard", Musk told investors in January. Still, Musk's ambitious expansion plans depend on increasing both profit margins and sales volume.
One of those experts is Jeff Dahn, who operated a research lab in at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Dahn and his team have been working on the project with Tesla since 2016, but their relationship extends back to 2012. Per the sources, the new battery's cells could cost less than $60 per kilowatt-hour.
At the end of 2019, battery prices were about $156/kWh; it's widely thought $100/kWh is the number the auto industry needs to reach to make electric cars' cost on par with gasoline cars.
The Reuters report also claims Tesla is continuing to ramp up its battery recycling capabilities through its Redwood Materials affiliate now headed by JB Straubel. Earlier this year, it said only that it planned to "drive battery cell costs below $100/kWh" without specifying a timetable.