Elon Musk: Tesla can break this limit of $ 100 per kWh on batteries this year

Jun

6

2018

Elon Musk said at a shareholders’ meeting that he expects Tesla to be able to break the barrier of 100 dollars per kWh for car batteries this year. The price of batteries for electric cars has been falling for years.

According to Musk, the achievement of the limit of 100 dollars per kWh for the entire battery requires improvements to the chemical processes in battery cells. There must also be more vertical integration in the large battery factories of Tesla to make the production process more efficient, writes Ars Technica on the basis of statements by Musk. Assuming a battery pack of 50kWh and a cost of $ 35,000 for the Model 3, the batteries would represent around 14 percent of the cost price at the $ 100 per kWh limit.

The average price for a lithium-ion battery pack at the end of 2017 according to Bloomberg was still $ 209 per kWh ; that was a drop in prices of 24 percent compared to a year before. An analyst from Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimated at the end of last year that the limit of 100 dollars per kilowatt hour is only broken by 2025.

Musk also briefly asked questions about improving the energy density in the batteries. According to the Tesla-ceo it is difficult to have a battery for the same weight twice as much power to generate, but an improvement of 30 percent of the energy density he sees happen in the next three years. Musk says he has confidence in the technology required for this. This should only be scaled up and become more reliable.

During the meeting, Musk also briefly discussed the financial problems surrounding the difficulties with the production of the Model 3 . He admitted that many mistakes were made on the production line of the Model 3. According to the director, however, things are going in the right direction, partly because now every part of the Model 3 production process has shown that it can reach 3,500 cars per week. Based on this, Musk states that Tesla will be profitable from the third quarter of this year and that there will be a positive cash flow in the fourth quarter.

Musk also promised that there will be a new update of the Autopilot this week, which brings “significant improvements”. It is not yet clear what improvements are exactly in the pipeline. According to the Electrek website, an update is being tested with a number of incremental improvements at Autosteer and TACC . According to Musk, there will also be an improvement in the next few months that will enable the system to assist with leaving the motorway.

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