At Tesla’s Battery Day event, CEO Elon Musk made some big announcements: the company’s moves toward eliminating cobalt in its batteries, a new Plaid powertrain for the Model S that could get to speeds of 200 mph, and a new cathode plant to streamline its battery production. And, with the new battery technology, Musk has said Tesla will make a $25,000 car.
Tesla (TSLA) to implement tabless batteries
Tesla plans to manufacture its own “tabless” batteries, which will improve its vehicles’ range and power. The new batteries will be produced in-house, which Musk says will reduce costs and bring the sale price of Tesla electric cars closer to gasoline-powered cars. It’s expected to lower Tesla’s cost per kilowatt hour, a key metric used to measure electric vehicles’ battery packs. The tabless cells (Tesla is removing the tab that connects the cell and what it’s powering), which Tesla is calling the 4860 cells, will make its batteries six times more powerful and increase range by 16 percent.
Tesla currently sources its batteries from Panasonic, and is likely to keep doing so for some time, but moving battery production in house has been on Musk’s to-do list for some time; in 2018 a shortage of those cells added to production delays. Musk has said the pace of battery production at Panasonic had slowed production of both the Model 3 and the Model Y
A Tesla (TSLA) Cathode plant is coming
Musk said Tesla will build a new cathode plant for its batteries in North America, part of its quest to reduce supply chain costs and simplify cathode production. It’s also making improvements to its process that will make cathodes 76 percent cheaper, and produce zero wastewater. The company also plans to diversify the cathodes it uses, because of low nickel supplies.
Tesla plans to eliminate the use of cobalt in its cathodes. Musk has said he wanted to eliminate it entirely in the past — even though Tesla’s existing batteries use very little. Cobalt is often mined under conditions that violate human rights, which has led to a push to find other materials to replace it.
Musk didn’t offer a timeline for when the company will stop using cobalt but said it will make its batteries significantly cheaper.
“It’s absolutely critical that we make cars that people can people can actually afford,” he said. “Affordability is key to how we scale.”
The $25,000 Tesla (TSLA)
After reviewing improvements in Tesla’s own battery designs and battery manufacturing capabilities, improvements that could result in huge reductions in battery costs, Musk promised a $25,000 Tesla electric car that would be available in about three years.
Is Tesla (TSLA) a worthy 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.