Here's Why the Tesla, Maxwell EV Battery Pack Could be an Industry Game Changer
【Summary】Tesla's recent acquisition of Maxwell is a clear sign that the electric carmaker is advancing its assault on current EV battery pack limitations.
The technical limitations of current electric vehicle battery technology has somewhat slowed the mass adoption of EVs. The main concerns of drivers of electric vehicles are limited range and extended charging times.
With Tesla's recent acquisition of Maxwell for $218 million, the California-based electric automaker is looking for ways to overcome the limitations of current EV battery pack technology.
Maxwell's dry battery electrode technology could increase battery energy density by 50% and eventually could nearly triple energy density from current levels, as well as double the battery's life.
Initially, engineers hypothesized that supercapacitors were the answer to traditional EV battery pack restrictions. Maxwell is a company primarily known for its pioneering work on supercapacitors, but as it turns out, Tesla was more interested in the potential of the company's dry electrode technology.
Maxwell's dry electrode technology uses small cylinder fibers of PTFE (Teflon) and active electrode material particles. This produces self-supporting films of cathode and anode material, which is then made into either a positive cathode or negative anode by laminating the films to a current collector foil.
The resulting positive or negatively charged cathode and anode is wound up into a cylinder with a separator film between each layer to make a battery cell. Maxwell's electrode process can produce them without using a solvent.
The electric coating method using solvents to manufacture conventional lithium-ion batteries takes longer time and requires equipment that occupies a lot of factory floor space.
The solvents used to make traditional lithium-ion batteries require expensive and cumbersome electrode coating machines. However, Maxwell's method is a more cost-effective alternative to the traditional battery production process.
Maxwell also claims that its dry battery technology is capable of producing thicker electrodes, which can offer substantially higher loading and energy density capabilities.
Industry rumours suggest that Maxwell might be working on a new large format cylindrical cell for Tesla.
If Tesla plans on incorporating these potentially larger format battery cells in its upcoming offerings, then it will also have to increase the battery kWh as these high energy density cells produce lower power figures.
Maxwell entered into a joint venture with the The U.S. Department of Energy and battery maker A123 Systems to develop these dry electrode cells back in 2011, so these new cells may be ready for mass-production quite soon.
Earlier, Tesla also announced that it would keep investing in its Gigafactory 1 in Nevada, but would focus more on the facility's production rate. Rumors suggest this might be Tesla's way of hinting that it will no longer invest in aging battery manufacturing technology.
If so, Tesla soon might introduce a refreshed version of its lineup featuring high-density solvent-free battery packs developed by Maxwell.
Manish Kharinta is a automotive writer based in the Los Angeles area. He has worked for automotive industry websites TheSmokingClutch.com, CarDekho.com and CarBikeindia.com. His experience ranges from covering auto shows, to car reviews and breaking automotive news. Manish aims to bring forth his unique perspective on automotive design and technological innovations in the automotive industry.
Ford's Lincoln Star Concept Offers a Glimpse into the Electric Future of the Luxury Brand
GM's New 'Plug And Charge' Feature Will Simplify the Charging Process For its Current & Future EVs
Volvo is Building a New EV Service and Training Facility at its U.S. Headquarters in New Jersey To Fast Track its Electrification Plans
Honda's New EV Friendly Retail Plans Hint at the End of Mega Dealerships
Volvo Cars and Epic Games to Partner on a High-Resolution 3D Digital Driver’s Display Powered by the Unreal Engine
Here's One Way Lucid Motors Made the Air Sedan More Spacious for Passengers
The 2023 Polestar 2: Delivery Updates, New Pricing, Color Options and New Tech
The Genesis X Speedium Coupe EV Concept Debuts in New York City
- China’s Baidu Reveals the Apollo RT6, a Fully Autonomous, Production Ready Level-4 Robotaxi with Removable Steering Wheel
- Vietnam-based Electric Vehicle Startup VinFast Ships its First Vehicles to the U.S.
- Volkswagen CEO Believes It Will Overtake Tesla in EV Sales by 2025
- China Has Installed Around 4.7 Million Electric Vehicle Charging Poles as of October 2022
- Toyota to Collaborate With Texas-based Utility Provider Oncor to Accelerate a Vehicle-to-Grid EV Charging Ecosystem
- EV Startup Fisker Announces ‘Fisker Finance’ a Digital Financing Platform for Purchasing the Electric Ocean SUV
- Automakers Urge Consumers to Buy an EV Before Tax Credit Changes
- EV Startup VinFast is Offering 3 Years of Free EV Charging and Advanced Driver Assist System for Customers That Reserve a Vehicle Through Sept 30
- Tesla Sells 100,291 China-Built Vehicles in November, a Record High
- Ford Motor Co Selects its Plant in Spain to Build 'Breakthrough' EVs for the European Market on a Next-Gen Architecture