In the future, in order to make a car that costs $25,000, Tesla says it’s found an approach to cut the cost of making its batteries by over 50.
In Tesla’s Battery Day event, Tesla CEO Elon Musk presented a number of modifications the automaker intends to implement in order to improve the efficiency of vehicle manufacturing as well as the batteries themselves. These changes will not only assist Tesla in reducing costs but also expand the battery life of its electric vehicles by up to 54 percent.
The most notable change is the introduction of a brand new battery, called the 4680, that Tesla claims will provide five times the capacity in energy as well as six times more power compared to the storm that it currently has.
Tesla is planning to incorporate the latest technology and manufacturing techniques within twelve to 18 months, with fully utilizing the new technology within three years, according to Musk. Once it is implemented, Tesla will be able to produce electric batteries in a greater quantity and with less cost, which will allow the automaker to launch millions of additional vehicles on the market — including lower-cost models.
“I think probably about three years from now we can confidently make a very compelling $25,000 electric vehicle that’s also fully autonomous,” Musk declared. (For example, the most expensive Tesla vehicle Model 3, Model 3, Model 3, currently goes for $37,790.)
The recently announced cost savings are not the result of one technological breakthrough. However, they are the result of numerous changes throughout the entire production chain, as well as the way in which batteries are made.
One example involves the construction of an entire Tesla car from just one piece of metal so that the battery could be more compactly packed inside. Another change is that the company has set up its cathode manufacturing facility by directly removing the lithium from an area in Nevada.
“Tesla will absolutely be head and shoulders above anyone else in (electric car) manufacturing. That is our goal,” Musk declared.
On the other hand, it will take a period to allow Tesla to get its head around and develop the latest manufacturing technology. “If we could do this instantly, we would,” said the CEO. “But I think it really bodes well for the future. The long-term scaling of Tesla and the sustainable energy products we make will be massively increased.”
Musk attended the event and also provided an update regarding Autopilot, a driver-assist function in Tesla vehicles. The company plans to release an alpha version of Autopilot within “a month or so” that will permit the fully autonomous Tesla that Musk has repeatedly stated he will bring. Musk was a bit vague on specifics, but he said his company had redesigned the software used to run Autopilot to be able to recognize 3D objects captured by the vehicle’s sensors.