Daily US Times: Electric carmaker Tesla founder Elon Musk has announced technology that he says will make Tesla batteries more powerful and cheaper.
At a live presentation that the founder labelled ‘Battery Day’ he also teased the possibility of a $25,000 (£19,600), fully-autonomous Tesla “in about three years time”.
He said: “This has always been our dream to make an affordable electric car.”
But the announcement didn’t excite investors and $50bn was wiped off its stock market value.
The main announcement was Tesla’s new larger cylindrical cells as Mr Musk claimed the new batteries will provide five times more energy, six times more power and 16% greater driving range.
But the new technology announced is likely to take years to implement.
The electric carmaker’s approach includes integrating the battery so that it forms part of the structure of the vehicle, thereby reducing the effective weight of the battery.
The speech took place in front of 240 shareholders – each of them sitting in a Tesla Model 3.
Central to cheaper Teslas are innovations in the way the company designs batteries – radically improving their efficiency.
A member of the National Academy of Engineering, Professor Stanley Whittingham, told the BBC that “tackling all the opportunities is high risk, but high pay-off”.
He said: “Many of us have suggested the same steps are necessary, but Tesla has the investment and will to make it happen. Not sure anyone else is willing to do this.”
Mr Musk also announced that as well as purchasing batteries from LG Chem and Panasonic – Tesla itself would begin to make them.
Musk himself revealed problems In April last year that sourcing Panasonic batteries used in its Model 3 Tesla.
Casper Rawles, Head of Price Assessments at Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, said in an interview with BBC that scaling up would be “challenging”.
He said: “Even with really experienced car manufacturers, we tend to see a very high scrap rate of production in the first couple of years.”
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