What you need to know about Tesla's 'battery day'
Over the last few months there has been information leaking out about Tesla establishing a new battery production line near the Fremont factory, and it is aptly code-named roadrunner not only does that hint speed, but there might also be. A reference there to roadrunner and Wylie coyote the looney tunes characters engaged in a perpetual game of Jason, in which Miley Coyote could never catch the roadrunner. Maybe legacy auto is the Wiley Coyote to Tesla's roadrunner. So one of the expectations for Battery Day is that Tesla unveils this roadrunner production line to demonstrate the potential throughput that can be accomplished with all. These advancements I believe Ilan made reference to this today as well as tussles other progress in manufacturing outside of batteries. When he tweeted quote speed running Victorio and real life dot dot dot, and quote if you're unfamiliar Factoria is a video game described themselves. By saying quote Factoria was a game in which you build and maintain factories you'll be mining resources researching. Technologies building infrastructure, automating production and fighting enemies and quote that you're sounds a lot like. TUSLA. So a lot of these are related but I believe manufacturing and energy density at the pack level to be the two most important things for battery day. But it doesn't just end there. There are few other topics that may be discussed at Battery Day the first. which has been heavily speculated on is the possibility of Tesla introducing a million mile battery. So first things first on that that means a million mile life cycle or another way to say, that would be the ability for the battery to recharge. Let's say three or four thousand times without having significant capacity degradation because of already done a full ten fifteen minute episode. On the Million Mile Battery I'M NOT GONNA go into as much detail on that here a link that episode but the Short version is that they're already batteries capable of producing that many cycles. It's just a matter as it always is with batteries of the trade offs are willing to make. For example, does that increase the life cycle lower energy density or? Increased cost, and if so maybe it's not worth the tradeoff in fact, Tesla already has batteries that are capable of doing a million miles. They just don't use them in their vehicles because of those trade offs rather they use them in their energy storage products. So we'll see what Tesla has to say about a million mile battery they have talked about wanting. To, get there with the whole powertrain and the past, which really makes a lot of sense when you bring in a Tommy because if a scenario exists where there is a full self-driving row taxi that vehicles going to be traveling a lot more than ten thousand or fifteen, thousand miles per year if the utilization is five times higher or ten times higher. Then to have a useful life of ten years twenty years, you're going to need a million mile powertrain including that million mile battery. It also makes a lot of sense for other utility vehicles such as the upcoming Tesla semi the other wildcard that could potentially add life cycles to the battery for a vehicle would be vehicle to grid technology. Again, we've talked about. Tesla hasn't been super bullish on that technology in the past. So it's relatively lower on my expectations list there certainly value to that feature, but there's also complexity in extracting that value. So we'll wait and see what Tesla has to say on life cycle and any additional features that could drive utilization of those battery packs higher next on the watch list is. Charging capability there's a lot of potential here. We've already seen Tesla over the years increase the supercharging rate from ninety kilowatts to one hundred, twenty kilowatts, two, hundred, and fifty all the way up to two hundred and fifty kilowatts at peak now, and at the cyber truck unveiling last November onscreen they shut a graphic that showed the charging capability of the cyber. At. Two hundred and fifty kilowatts plus you elon musk at that unveiling said quote it will be capable of more than two hundred and fifty kilowatts will reveal the actual number later and quote. So maybe battery day ends up being that later we know that just last week lucid, motors announced that the lucid air will have three hundred and fifty kilowatt capable charging Tesla's kinda competitive. So I'm not sure they're gonNA, sit around for too long being outmatched on that charging rate. If we can get a bit speculative for a moment, one of our listeners, Florian halen helped me out with this it appears that the V. Three superchargers should be capable. Of quite a bit more output than the hundred and fifty kilowatt. Max. That does vehicles can charge at today to get a full understanding of this, we have to start with the version two superchargers. If we look at the label on those chargers, we can see the voltage listed at four hundred and ten volts. They amperage listed at two hundred and seventy amps to get the power capacity. We just multiply the voltage by the amperage. So in this case that comes out to about one hundred and eleven kilowatts but what happens in reality is that vehicles on version two charges, one hundred and fifty kilowatts all the time. So the amperage here is. Actually understated the same thing appears to be happening with the V. Three superchargers as well on the label for those, we can see that the voltage is thousand and the amperage is four, hundred and twenty-five. So multiplying those together yet Max power capacity of four hundred and twenty five kilowatts. So that's already higher than the two hundred and fifty kilowatts. The vehicles can accept today leaving some room for upside and charging rate but back to the amperage, it appears that the amperage capacity is understated on the be three charges as well. We have a screen shot here of a model three charging at that Max two hundred and fifty kilowatt rate, but with. The voltage only at three hundred, sixty eight. So if we divide those two hundred and fifty thousand watts, two hundred and fifty kilowatts by three hundred, sixty eight that gives us six, hundred eighty amps, which is well above the four hundred twenty, five amps on the label right now, a model threes battery is limited to four hundred and four volts. So at six hundred and eighty amps that would mean a Max charging rate of two, hundred, seventy, five kilowatts instead of the two, hundred fifty, that is listed, but it's probably limited at two hundred and fifty kilowatts to avoid overheating if we consider a new battery though maybe some of those constraints can. Be removed and the V. Three superchargers seems capable of delivering quite a bit more power than that two hundred, fifty kilowatts. If we use the six hundred eighty amps here that we have already seen register out of a supercharged V three location and we multiply that by the maximum a thousand volts we could be looking at a power output of six hundred eighty kilowatts from three charter and potentially even higher based on whatever that true actual limit on ams it's. So none of this means that Tesla's going to suddenly unveil a battery that's capable of charging at seven hundred kilowatts just that the V. Three chargers do seem to be putting in. Place. The infrastructure for higher charging to come over time with a new cell likely being introduced. Maybe we will hear more about that at battery debt last couple of aspects that I've heard discussed the first mining Tesla has alluded to maybe getting into mining someday if they needed to that's not something that I expect here from Battery Day as should be cleared by this point in time I think they've got enough to go through without going down that figurative rabbit hole but I do expect. Yulon mosque to again plead with suppliers to ramp up supply especially for nickel next is a point on Tesla suppliers we know that tussle works with Panasonic LG. L. To source batteries from them. So the question has arisen of how those partnerships are going to work and evolve if Tesla is designing and manufacturing their own cell and I think this is answered by what we spoke to earlier with product differentiation Tesla is going to need all the batteries they can get their hands on it's going to take time to ramp up their own battery production. So not only can they not just convert all their products over to their own cells instantly even if they were to do that, they still probably need even more batteries so they're going to continue to partner with these other suppliers though suppliers give them viable. Products, which can help Tesla Grow capture revenue capture prophet regardless of their own endeavors and battery cells and production as far as tesla actually supplying these cells to others I definitely don't expect that not for a long long time if at all, and that's really for the same reason, Tesla is gonNA need these cells themselves supplying them to another oem just adds again that extra layer of cost because both sides need their margin that creates a more expensive and a product for the consumer, which is contradictory to tussles goal of accelerating the advent of sustainable energy. So as long as Tesla is battery constrained, which I expect to be for a long time. See them supplying their batteries to anybody else. All right. So after all of this, we finally come to the product. The last thing to maybe expect out of Battery Day could be the introduction of the plaid model s and Model X. potentially being the first products to utilize these new battery cells as Tesla works to ramp up that initial production it's been yearly quiet on the plaid. Powertrain Front for a while now, but the timing is about right and maybe we will finally again here's something about the new roadster.