According to a new report, Tesla will launch its new million-mile battery cell in China first, and it will partner with CATL to make them.

Electrek, By Fred Lambert


© Electrek | Tesla will launch its new battery in China first and partner with CATL to make them, report says


The goal is for Tesla to produce its own battery cells using technologies developed by Tesla’s internal teams, including work from Jeff Dahn’s team in Canada, and new technologies recently acquired through the acquisition of Maxwell, on a massive scale and at a cost below $100 per kWh.

Recently, we reported Tesla has been applying for a lot of intellectual property related to battery cells, like a new electrode for its 1-million-mile battery.

In a new report, Reuters claims to have new details about the plan for Tesla’s new battery:
Electric car maker Tesla Inc plans to introduce a new low-cost, long-life battery in its Model 3 sedan in China later this year or early next that it expects will bring the cost of electric vehicles in line with gasoline models, and allow EV batteries to have second and third lives in the electric power grid.
The main new information introduced in the report is that Tesla plans to introduce the new battery in China first, it was co-developed by CATL, it will have a second life as energy storage for the grid, and Tesla will enable vehicle-to-grid technology.

Reuters reported about recycling and second-life:
Tesla is working on recycling and recovery of such expensive metals as nickel, cobalt, and lithium, through its Redwood Materials affiliate, as well as new ‘second life’ applications of electric vehicle batteries in grid storage systems, such as the one Tesla built in South Australia in 2017. The automaker also has said it wants to supply electricity to consumers and businesses, but has not provided details.
The publication added about vehicle-to-grid:
With a global fleet of more than 1 million electric vehicles that are capable of connecting to and sharing power with the grid, Tesla’s goal is to achieve the status of a power company, competing with such traditional energy providers as Pacific Gas & Electric and Tokyo Electric Power, those sources said.
The said about Tesla partnering with CATL:
The new ‘million-mile’ battery at the center of Tesla’s strategy was jointly developed with China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd (CATL) and deploys technology developed by Tesla in collaboration with a team of academic battery experts recruited by Musk, three people familiar with the effort said.
They note that the plan is expected to be announced at Tesla’s ‘Battery Day’ event later this month.

Electrek’s Take

I don’t know exactly what to think about this report. There are a few things that don’t sound right to me.

Like, for example, that Tesla plans to use the battery for second-life as energy storage. Tesla has always indicated that they were against using batteries as second-life storage units. They instead indicated that they think it’s best to make new battery cells specifically for stationary energy storage and recycle batteries at the end of their life cycles to make new ones.

Then when they talk about recycling batteries, they refer to Redwood Materials, the new company of Tesla’s former CFO JB Straubel, as an “affiliate” of Tesla, but they have previously said that Redwood is not associated with Tesla in any way.

These things make me doubt the report a little, but there are other things that make sense, to be fair.

I do believe that Tesla is going to eventually enable vehicle-to-grid technology.

This article was originally published by Electrek. 
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