A cheaper and more resistant battery? The automobile hanging from Tesla's lips

A cheaper and more resistant battery? The automobile hanging from Tesla's lips

NEW YORK | Tesla, which revolutionized the electric car, is organizing a long-awaited Battery Day on Tuesday, during which “exciting” announcements should be unveiled, his boss, Elon Musk, assured.

Mr. Musk, known for his shattering statements, warned that the announcements would be about “long-term production, especially the Semi (trailer), Cybertruck and Roadster.”

But what the group will present “will not reach real mass production before 2022”, he added, without giving further details.

Rumors have been swarming for several weeks on what the group could present just after its annual general meeting, scheduled for 8:30 p.m. GMT (4:30 p.m. in Quebec).

Some observers are wondering if Tesla does not want to start manufacturing its own cells, which would send a wake-up call for industry players like Panasonic and LG.

Mr. Musk has neither denied nor confirmed these speculations: he thus assured, still on his Twitter account, that Tesla had the intention “to increase, and not to reduce, its purchases of battery cells from Panasonic , LG and CATL (and possibly from other partners) ”.

Before adding: “However, even though our suppliers are operating at maximum speed, we still face significant shortages until 2022 and beyond, unless we take matters into our own hands.”

Used to media blows, the entrepreneur of South African origin had promised on Twitter on September 11 that he would lift the veil on “many exciting things” during this event already postponed several times.

Tesla is keen to play a leading role in batteries, the key element for the future of electric vehicles, in order to increase its lead over other car manufacturers.

“The devil is in the details”

Is the company going to announce ambitious targets for its ability to generate energy over the next few years? A new method of designing its batteries? Progress on their density or longevity? A technology to reduce or completely eliminate the use of cobalt? Or even say that it can reduce the cost of batteries much faster than expected?

Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas wonders, but he believes the event could “change the talk” about Tesla and the battery market.

The presentation will be all the more important as the announcements have multiplied in recent weeks in the electric vehicle sector, remarks Dan Ives, analyst for Wedbush.

Mr. Musk could in particular, according to him, present a battery capable of running over a million miles (1.61 million kilometers). This would represent a major competitive advantage over vehicles running on fuel, both in terms of return on investment and the environment.

Observers will also be particularly attentive to any element relating to reducing the cost of the battery below the threshold of $ 100 per kilowatt hour, which could ultimately lower the price of electric cars, says Ives.

For Canaccord's Jed Dorsheimer, the event will elicit praise and criticism, like the divisive personality of Mr. Musk on Wall Street.

The most optimistic will welcome any technological announcements, while the most pessimistic “will recall that Tesla's big announcements tend not to materialize,” Mr. Dorsheimer develops.

Whether it's the battery itself, its software, or its cooling system, Tesla has to make progress anyway if it wants to power its Cybertruck electric pickup or semi-trailer. Semi, remarks the expert.

“As often with Tesla, the devil will be in the details which, unfortunately, will take time to reveal”, concludes the expert.

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