The Tesla (TSLA) battery day presentation is almost here, set to take place today after market close at 4:30pm EST after being rescheduled from April due to the coronavirus pandemic. But with just hours to go until the company reveals something — the expectation is that it has developed at least one new type of battery cell that could help it stay ahead of growing EV competition — Elon Musk has some news.
According to Musk, “what we announce will not reach serious high-volume production until 2022,” and this will have implications for its Semi, Cybertruck and Roadster. He also went on to say that the company plans to increase battery cell purchases from partners like Panasonic and LG, but indicating the company will take action to avoid shortages in the future, a possible hint toward getting into cell manufacturing itself. We’ll find out exactly what that means when the presentation occurs tomorrow, with the Annual Meeting of Stockholders and Battery Day event scheduled to start at 4:30PM ET / 1:30PM PT.
Our predictions on what this might mean
Basically, despite those cells being better than the current cells being used in Tesla’s vehicle programs, they won’t talk about adding them to those vehicles until volume production is happening.
That will protect sales – at least to a degree.
However, Elon does mention “serious high-volume production” won’t happen until 2022. This is would indicate that Tesla will still achieve a decent level of production before that.
Earlier this year, in what’s essentially become a meme of its own, Musk said that Battery Day is going to “blow your mind.” Then just earlier this month, he again fed the hype machine, with claims that Battery Day “will be very insane.”
That said, Musk faces an unusual kind of challenge: He needs to sell investors on the long-range viability of the rapidly expanding global EV maker, while not convincing too many fans and prospective buyers to postpone upgrades and purchases until the new technology has arrived. That’s a fine line, and Musk is generally not one to keep to finely crafted talking points.
From the standpoint of Tesla’s mission, we know that Tesla doesn’t like to place patent booby traps for the companies following in its footsteps and doesn’t usually take legal actions unless trade secrets are stolen or precious talent is poached. It could be argued that if Tesla was to supply Maxwell, tables electrode, Roadrunner technology to its suppliers, like Panasonic and LG Chem, by selling or leasing the custom factory machinery Tesla designed, Tesla could ramp up battery production more quickly.
One thing that has been made clear is that Panasonic isn’t going to leave Giga Nevada anytime soon, even if it just produces the same old 2170 cells. Tesla could build around Panasonic, or build with Panasonic. There is the possibility that Tesla will do this, as it could be in the best interest of the mission. Tesla would not only be Panasonic’s client, but also a supplier. Tesla might do this even if it isn’t necessarily in the best interests of company value and growth and could even prevent Tesla from cornering the market.
Sometimes it feels like Tesla has split personality disorder. On the one hand, there is Elon Musk with open arms willing to help, do what is best for the mission, and listen to customers. On the other hand, you have the traditional business side of Tesla that doesn’t respond to journalists, is willing to cut corners, and is often indifferent to unjust actions taken against customers who are unable to reach Elon Musk on Twitter.
As part of my research in the past year, I have been digging around the patents of Tesla as well as the companies it has acquired. One of the lesser known ones is Sillion. The most interesting part of this acquisition is its non-flammable ionic liquid electrolyte. The description in some of Sillion’s patents are somewhat reminiscent of how the BYD Blade battery is supposed to be fireproof by ensuring that the chemicals in the battery require more energy to combust than is generated by a thermal runaway event. Translation: fire isn’t hot enough to combust the chemicals. With this, battery fires could be a thing of the past.
Is Tesla (TSLA) a good investment?
Shares of Tesla (TSLA) appear to be a very good investment option, the Money Midnight Indicator is expecting its price to increase considerably in the next several months. The majority of the metrics point to this investment being highly attractive.