Analyze the three core technologies of tesla power battery
Tesla's current leadership position in the growing global EV industry is largely due to its unique mastery of EV battery technology.
Currently, the industry considers that there are three major challenges of energy density, cost and cycle life in the manufacturing application of lithium ion battery for vehicles, and Teslas outstanding performance in dealing with these three challenges enables its power battery technology to take a leading position in the world.
First is using uniform cylindrical lithium batteries to lower the cost. Tesla adopts cylindrical battery as its battery specification for EV. Compared with other main engine factories that adopt multiple battery models produced by multiple battery factories, designing battery pack with cylindrical battery can gain several advantages such as improved efficiency, flexibility and cost control.
Statistics from GGII show that in the first half of 2019, China's power battery installed capacity of 30.01GWh involved 204 types of single cell specifications. Among them, there are 34 kinds of single cell specifications installed in Ningde era, ranking the top in the industry, and 124 kinds of single cell specifications applied in the top ten enterprises, accounting for about 61% of the whole.
In terms of the total installed power of the specific specifications of single battery, the top ten specifications are mainly square, accounting for 7 types, 2 types are cylindrical, and only 1 type is soft pack.
However, tesla Model S/X and Model 3 only adopt Panasonic 18650 and 21700 standard batteries, which greatly improves the consistency of batteries and reduces the cost.
Even as sales of new energy vehicles soared, the Model 3 consumed 16 percent of the world's passenger-electric vehicle battery capacity in May 2019, all 21,700 batteries. If the Model X and Model S have been included, Tesla will have used 22% of its batteries in May 2019, with only 18,650 and 21,700 cells.
At present, the Gigafactory 1 built by Tesla in Nevada and Panasonic in the United States is producing and supplying 21700 batteries used in Model 3, with a planned full-load capacity of 35GWh, which is expected to reach full-load in 2020, equivalent to a supply of 500,000 EVs. By then, 21700 cells will be the most used type of cell.
Secondly, the liquid - cooled thermal management system to optimize battery life. Different from the air-cooled technology adopted by other main engine plants, Tesla adopts a liquid-cooled thermal management system to ensure that the battery runs at the highest efficiency and optimum state by adjusting the temperature of the battery pack, so as to maximize the battery life and performance.
At present, the liquid-cooled thermal management system is being applied by more and more main engine plants in the newly developed new energy models, which has become an important measure to improve the safety and service life of power batteries.
Thirdly, actively reducing the use of cobalt in lithium batteries. The cobalt of 21700 battery used in the current Tesla Model 3 has already been far less than the lithium-ion batteries used in other electric cars, and Tesla is planning to reduce it to zero.
At present, Tesla is actively developing a new battery technology that does not contain cobalt, while improving the energy density of the battery, and achieving a higher range without sacrificing the service life, which is consistent with the technical route of domestic battery companies to develop high-nickel battery.
In addition, Tesla plans to find other partners or even develop and produce new batteries itself.In may this year, Tesla acquired Maxwell Technologies, a California energy storage technology start-up company, and formally acquired Maxwell ultrapacitor and dry electrode technology.This provides a guarantee for the introduction of new technology and self-produced batteries in the development of new batteries.
Elon Musk, Tesla's CEO, has confirmed that the company is preparing to use Maxwell's battery technology to make its own batteries, and will even use mineral materials for batteries in the future.
Integrating Maxwell's technology into Tesla's battery production makes strategic sense for Tesla, as it could help Tesla gain more advanced battery technology and further reduce battery costs, thus improving its market position in EV markets.