Tesla CEO Elon Musk has suggested that the automaker may be able to produce batteries with 50% more energy density within three to four years. This news comes ahead of the firm's "Battery Day" event where it is expected to reveal improvement in its battery performance.
400 Wh/kg *with* high cycle life, produced in volume (not just a lab) is not far. Probably 3 to 4 years.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 24, 2020
According to researchers, the energy density of Panasonic's "2170" batteries that Tesla uses in its Model 3 cars is roughly 260Wh/kg, which would mark a 50% surge from current energy density. Battery Day will take place on September 22, which is when Tesla is also holding its annual shareholders' meeting. Due to coronavirus restrictions, the automaker will have limited attendees who will be selected via a lottery.
The event's background image shows white-colored dots clustered in line formations, which Park Chul-wan, a South Korean-based battery expert, believes to hint at "silicon nanowire anode." This breakthrough technology could help Tesla substantially increase both battery energy density and battery life.
Currently, Tesla's batteries are manufactured in partnership with Panasonic at the Nevada Gigafactory, and the automaker also has battery contracts with LG Chem and Contemporary Amperex Technology. Earlier this year, it was reported that Tesla was planning to build a battery research and manufacturing facility in Fremont.