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特斯拉 “电池日”将至,会有哪些黑科技?

特斯拉 “电池日”将至,会有哪些黑科技?

David Z. Morris 2020年09月22日
这家电动汽车界的领头羊推动自主生产更便宜、更好的电池,将增加长期的竞争优势。

特斯拉的首席执行官埃隆•马斯克所说的“特斯拉历史上最激动人心的一天”即将到来,投资者和粉丝们都翘首以盼。9月22日的“电池日”活动和股东大会将会展示特斯拉的下一代电池技术,包括储电更多而相应成本更低的电池等等。

吉恩•贝尔迪彻夫斯基说:“有一个点值得关注:是什么降低了汽车上每千瓦时电池存储的成本?”

贝尔迪彻夫斯基现在是电池材料公司Sila Nanotechnologies的首席执行官。他曾经是特斯拉的第七名员工,负责特斯拉Roadster的电池设计。和其他人一样,他认为,特斯拉即将公布的创新成果由于有多年并购和内部研究加成,可能会成为其一项长期战略优势。相对于紧随其后的竞争对手,特斯拉仍将略胜一筹。

Roadrunner项目

多年来,马斯克一直在向外推销他对“造机器的机器”(the machine that build the machine)的企划:积极实现自动化,以追求巨大的成本优势。Model 3在这方面的失败让特斯拉遭受了一点挫折,但紧接着,特斯拉在代号为Roadrunner的项目下推进了精简电池生产——这一项目具有巨大的潜在利益。

Roadrunner项目包含了不少先进技术,但麦克斯韦技术公司(Maxwell Technologies)对此作出的贡献受到了更大的关注。这家于2019年被特斯拉收购的公司开发了一种用于电池生产的干电极工艺,它取代了基于溶剂的“湿”组装工艺,有很大的潜在优势。

通过消除溶剂电极应用方案所需要的时间、空间“密集型”的干燥阶段,干电极可以大幅削减生产成本。一些专家猜测,特斯拉位于加州弗里蒙特的试点电池生产线占地面积相对较小,可能正是这种消除带来的结果。

专家还表示,干电极工艺将通过加强电池元件之间的连接,提高电池性能,尤其是充电速度将大大提升。但同时,一名电池行业高管警告称,这一技术短期内可能不会实施,称其为“下一代技术”更合适一些。

特斯拉似乎还将宣布其“电池打包生产”方式的转变。现在特斯拉的做法是:将电池组装成手臂长度“模块”盒子,然后再组装成汽车大小的电池组。这些模块设计出来是为了更容易替换故障电池。但马斯克在今年早些时候宣布,特斯拉不再使用模块方式,取消了中间环节,成本和汽车重量将有所下降。

跑上100万英里

分析人士预测了一长串可能会在电池日展示的其他创新成果,其中包括“无台面电极”,可以提高充电速度和存储容量,同时降低成本。也有很多关于“百万英里电池”的猜测——一款能够比目前的型号充更多次电而不会削减自身性能的电池。不过,这项技术可能比目前使用的方案付出成本更高,因此它能否加入特斯拉的总体战略仍然是未知数。

还有预测称,特斯拉还可能强调其在各类产品中使用的电池化学物质的种类越来越多。例如,特斯拉似乎准备在价格较低的汽车上使用更重、续航里程更短的锂铁电池,从而为特斯拉Semi等高性能产品留置出更昂贵的材料。虽然可能性不大,但电池日可能会包括特斯拉在电池回收方面的细节,可能会涉及和由特斯拉的前首席技术官JB•斯特劳贝尔创立的电池回收初创公司Redwood Materials的合作。

虽然叫“电池日”,但期间也可能会有一些非电池技术展示。马斯克曾经暗示,将推出Model S和Model x的高性能“Plaid”版本,奥斯汀和柏林的新工厂也可能会有新进展。此外,特斯拉还可能宣布对Models S和X车型进行车身、传动系统或内部结构升级,或将帮助这些车型在与豪车竞争中夺回失地。

挖一条无法逾越的壕沟?

特斯拉对电池的改进是其摆脱第三方电池供应商影响的战略举措的一部分。去年,特斯拉冻结了对位于内华达州的合资公司Panasonic-Tesla Gigafactory的投资,说明当时转变已经初露端倪。电池是电动汽车性能的关键,据估计,电池占到电动汽车成本的一半之多,因此,自主生产成本更低、性能更好的电池将意味着在市场上更强大的竞争优势。

特斯拉的投资者兼分析师马特•乔伊斯认为,这一举措对特斯拉目前来说尤其重要——因为无论是老牌汽车制造商还是新创业公司,都已经摩拳擦掌,准备在电动汽车市场大施拳脚。许多竞争对手依赖LG和三星等第三方电池供应商,从而大大限制了它们的创新能力,甚至对它们的电池供应都构成影响。乔伊斯说,如果特斯拉可以摆脱这些限制,“就没人能赶得上了”。

特斯拉对电池效率的追求不仅仅是为了同行竞争。电动汽车行业的传统观点认为,每千瓦时储存100美元的电池组将有可能使电动汽车以与汽油汽车相同的价格销售。由于电动汽车的燃料和维护成本已经低于汽油汽车使用的燃气燃烧器,电池组成本的大幅下降很有可能引发汽车市场快速向电动汽车过渡。

目前还不确定特斯拉是否会在9月22日公布任何详细的成本信息。但如果它真的宣布利用自己拥有的技术完成了100美元/千瓦时电池组的突破,它将为自家长期占据市场主导地位的愿景开辟一条更明晰的道路,同时特斯拉已经一路高歌的股票可能又将迎来一波投机热度。

特斯拉将在电池日当天邀请访客到其位于弗里蒙特的工厂参观,显然是希望能够亲自展示其新的制造工艺和其他重要信息。同时,从太平洋时间9月22日下午1点30分开始,活动的大部分内容也将在网上直播。(财富中文网)

编译:杨二一

特斯拉的首席执行官埃隆•马斯克所说的“特斯拉历史上最激动人心的一天”即将到来,投资者和粉丝们都翘首以盼。9月22日的“电池日”活动和股东大会将会展示特斯拉的下一代电池技术,包括储电更多而相应成本更低的电池等等。

吉恩•贝尔迪彻夫斯基说:“有一个点值得关注:是什么降低了汽车上每千瓦时电池存储的成本?”

贝尔迪彻夫斯基现在是电池材料公司Sila Nanotechnologies的首席执行官。他曾经是特斯拉的第七名员工,负责特斯拉Roadster的电池设计。和其他人一样,他认为,特斯拉即将公布的创新成果由于有多年并购和内部研究加成,可能会成为其一项长期战略优势。相对于紧随其后的竞争对手,特斯拉仍将略胜一筹。

Roadrunner项目

多年来,马斯克一直在向外推销他对“造机器的机器”(the machine that build the machine)的企划:积极实现自动化,以追求巨大的成本优势。Model 3在这方面的失败让特斯拉遭受了一点挫折,但紧接着,特斯拉在代号为Roadrunner的项目下推进了精简电池生产——这一项目具有巨大的潜在利益。

Roadrunner项目包含了不少先进技术,但麦克斯韦技术公司(Maxwell Technologies)对此作出的贡献受到了更大的关注。这家于2019年被特斯拉收购的公司开发了一种用于电池生产的干电极工艺,它取代了基于溶剂的“湿”组装工艺,有很大的潜在优势。

通过消除溶剂电极应用方案所需要的时间、空间“密集型”的干燥阶段,干电极可以大幅削减生产成本。一些专家猜测,特斯拉位于加州弗里蒙特的试点电池生产线占地面积相对较小,可能正是这种消除带来的结果。

专家还表示,干电极工艺将通过加强电池元件之间的连接,提高电池性能,尤其是充电速度将大大提升。但同时,一名电池行业高管警告称,这一技术短期内可能不会实施,称其为“下一代技术”更合适一些。

特斯拉似乎还将宣布其“电池打包生产”方式的转变。现在特斯拉的做法是:将电池组装成手臂长度“模块”盒子,然后再组装成汽车大小的电池组。这些模块设计出来是为了更容易替换故障电池。但马斯克在今年早些时候宣布,特斯拉不再使用模块方式,取消了中间环节,成本和汽车重量将有所下降。

跑上100万英里

分析人士预测了一长串可能会在电池日展示的其他创新成果,其中包括“无台面电极”,可以提高充电速度和存储容量,同时降低成本。也有很多关于“百万英里电池”的猜测——一款能够比目前的型号充更多次电而不会削减自身性能的电池。不过,这项技术可能比目前使用的方案付出成本更高,因此它能否加入特斯拉的总体战略仍然是未知数。

还有预测称,特斯拉还可能强调其在各类产品中使用的电池化学物质的种类越来越多。例如,特斯拉似乎准备在价格较低的汽车上使用更重、续航里程更短的锂铁电池,从而为特斯拉Semi等高性能产品留置出更昂贵的材料。虽然可能性不大,但电池日可能会包括特斯拉在电池回收方面的细节,可能会涉及和由特斯拉的前首席技术官JB•斯特劳贝尔创立的电池回收初创公司Redwood Materials的合作。

虽然叫“电池日”,但期间也可能会有一些非电池技术展示。马斯克曾经暗示,将推出Model S和Model x的高性能“Plaid”版本,奥斯汀和柏林的新工厂也可能会有新进展。此外,特斯拉还可能宣布对Models S和X车型进行车身、传动系统或内部结构升级,或将帮助这些车型在与豪车竞争中夺回失地。

挖一条无法逾越的壕沟?

特斯拉对电池的改进是其摆脱第三方电池供应商影响的战略举措的一部分。去年,特斯拉冻结了对位于内华达州的合资公司Panasonic-Tesla Gigafactory的投资,说明当时转变已经初露端倪。电池是电动汽车性能的关键,据估计,电池占到电动汽车成本的一半之多,因此,自主生产成本更低、性能更好的电池将意味着在市场上更强大的竞争优势。

特斯拉的投资者兼分析师马特•乔伊斯认为,这一举措对特斯拉目前来说尤其重要——因为无论是老牌汽车制造商还是新创业公司,都已经摩拳擦掌,准备在电动汽车市场大施拳脚。许多竞争对手依赖LG和三星等第三方电池供应商,从而大大限制了它们的创新能力,甚至对它们的电池供应都构成影响。乔伊斯说,如果特斯拉可以摆脱这些限制,“就没人能赶得上了”。

特斯拉对电池效率的追求不仅仅是为了同行竞争。电动汽车行业的传统观点认为,每千瓦时储存100美元的电池组将有可能使电动汽车以与汽油汽车相同的价格销售。由于电动汽车的燃料和维护成本已经低于汽油汽车使用的燃气燃烧器,电池组成本的大幅下降很有可能引发汽车市场快速向电动汽车过渡。

目前还不确定特斯拉是否会在9月22日公布任何详细的成本信息。但如果它真的宣布利用自己拥有的技术完成了100美元/千瓦时电池组的突破,它将为自家长期占据市场主导地位的愿景开辟一条更明晰的道路,同时特斯拉已经一路高歌的股票可能又将迎来一波投机热度。

特斯拉将在电池日当天邀请访客到其位于弗里蒙特的工厂参观,显然是希望能够亲自展示其新的制造工艺和其他重要信息。同时,从太平洋时间9月22日下午1点30分开始,活动的大部分内容也将在网上直播。(财富中文网)

编译:杨二一

Tesla investors and fans are eagerly awaiting what CEO Elon Musk has described as “one of the most exciting days in Tesla’s history.” The “Battery Day” event and shareholder meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 22 is expected to showcase Tesla’s next-generation battery technology, including batteries that store more power, but cost less to make.

“There’s one single focus in this,” says Gene Berdichevsky. “What reduces my dollars per kilowatt-hour [of battery storage] at the vehicle level?”

Berdichevsky, now CEO of battery materials company Sila Nanotechnologies, was Tesla’s seventh employee, and worked on battery design for the original Tesla Roadster. He and others believe the innovations Tesla is likely to unveil Tuesday, the fruit of years of acquisitions and in-house research, could add up to a long-term strategic advantage over competitors nipping at the trailblazer’s heels.

Project Roadrunner

For many years, Tesla CEO Elon Musk touted his commitment to “the machine that builds the machine”: aggressive automation in pursuit of big cost advantages. Tesla’s struggles with the Model 3 were a setback to that thesis, but Tesla has forged ahead with streamlining battery production under the code name Project Roadrunner, and the potential benefits are huge.

Project Roadrunner appears to involve many different advances, but a lot of attention has been paid to contributions by Maxwell Technologies, which Tesla acquired in 2019. Maxwell developed a so-called dry electrode process for battery cell production, which replaces solvent-based “wet” assembly processes, and has a plethora of potential benefits.

First, the dry electrode could slash production costs by eliminating the time- and space-intensive drying stage required with solvent-based electrode application methods. Some experts have speculated that the relatively small footprint of Tesla’s pilot battery-cell production line in Fremont, Calif., may reflect that change.

Experts also say the dry electrode process would improve battery performance, particularly charging speeds, by forming a stronger connection between elements of a battery cell. One battery industry executive, however, cautions that this process might not be deployed in the near term, describing it as next-generation technology.

Tesla also appears likely to announce a shift to what’s known as cell-to-pack production. Currently, battery cells are first assembled into “modules,” arm-length boxes that are in turn put together into car-sized battery packs. The nominal point of the modules is to make it easier to replace defective cells, but Musk early this year declared that Tesla no longer needs modules, and eliminating the intermediate step should reduce both costs and vehicle weight.

A million miles and running

Analysts have speculated about a laundry list of other innovations that could be part of Battery Day. Those include tabless electrodes, which could increase charging speeds and storage capacity while, again, reducing cost. There has also been much speculation about a “million-mile battery” capable of being recharged many more times than current models without degrading. That technology may be more expensive than what’s currently used, though, so it remains uncertain how it would fit into Tesla’s overall strategy.

Tesla could also highlight the growing range of battery chemistries it uses in different products. For instance, Tesla appears to be preparing to use heavier, shorter-range lithium-iron batteries in cheaper Chinese vehicles, freeing up more expensive materials for high-performance products like the Tesla Semi. Though it’s more of a long shot, Battery Day could include details about Tesla’s battery recycling, possibly involving Redwood Materials, a battery-recycling startup founded by former Tesla CTO JB Straubel.

There may be some non-battery announcements during Battery Day. Musk has hinted at unveiling ultra-high-performance “Plaid” versions of the Model S and Model X. There might be details about progress at new factories in Austin and Berlin. And Tesla could also announce long-anticipated body, drivetrain, or interior updates to Models S and X, which might help those high-margin vehicles regain lost ground against luxury competitors.

Digging an insurmountable moat?

Tesla’s battery improvements are part of a broader strategic push to break free from third-party battery suppliers—a shift some saw hints of in last year’s freeze on investment in the joint Panasonic-Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada. Batteries are key to an electric vehicle’s performance, and are estimated to make up as much as half of EV costs, so producing lower-cost, higher-performance batteries in-house would mean a major edge on competitors.

Tesla investor and analyst Matt Joyce believes the move is particularly crucial for Tesla right now, as a wave of both established vehicle makers and new startups prepare to battle for EV market share. Many of those competitors will be reliant on third-party battery suppliers such as LG and Samsung, limiting their ability to innovate, and even constraining their battery supplies. If Tesla can escape those constraints, Joyce says, “nobody’s going to be able to catch up.”

Tesla’s push for battery efficiency also has stakes beyond mere competition. Conventional wisdom in the EV industry has it that a battery pack costing $100 per kilowatt-hour of storage would make it possible to sell EVs for about the same price as gasoline-burning cars. Because EVs already cost less to fuel and maintain than gas-burners, this could trigger a broad and rapid transition to EVs.

It’s not certain that Tesla will reveal any detailed cost information on September 22. But if it does announce it has cracked the $100/kwh battery pack, using technology it owns, it would draw a clear path to long-term market dominance—and could trigger another major surge of speculative enthusiasm for the company’s already frothy stock.

Tesla is welcoming in-person visitors to its Fremont factory on Battery Day, apparently hoping to show off its new manufacturing process and other big reveals in person. Much of the event will also be streamed online, though, starting at 1:30 p.m. PT on Sept. 22.

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