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From: Eric6/17/2019 1:04:17 PM
1 Recommendation   of 15600
Tesla / Maxwell: It Seems Mainstream News Coverage Has Missed The Mark

Jun 17, 2019 at 9:34am

By: George Bower

It may not be about battery tech, but instead, an increased rate of production and capital savings.

Tesla — and essentially all other automakers — are dealing with battery cell constraints. While most mainstream articles point to the Tesla / Maxwell acquisition's worth when it comes to battery tech and energy density, Maxwell's solvent-free electrode coating technology should work to drive down battery cell costs and allow for higher battery production rates and decreased equipment costs.

More Tesla / Maxwell Content:

Tesla's Maxwell Acquisition May Mean Improved Batteries That Cost Less

5 Reasons Why Tesla Acquired Maxwell Technologies: Video

There’s been lots of press lately about Panasonic investing or not investing in additional production capacity at Tesla Gigafactory 1 in Nevada. First, Nikkei Asia reported that Panasonic was freezing any further investment in Gigafactory 1. Then, Tesla combatted that, stating it would keep investing but steer focus on production rate.

The quickest, easiest and most cost-effective way to increase production rate is to run the lines faster. But, not all battery-manufacturing equipment allows this luxury. Sometimes, you need to get multiples of the same equipment versus just cranking up the speed. It’s analogous to a toaster. You can’t just crank up the heat if you want more pieces of toast per hour. You need to buy more toasters.

In our estimation, based on studying the solvent-drying process and an Argonne paper referenced later, the traditional solvent-drying process is like the toaster analogy. If you want to increase thruput, you need to buy more solvent-evaporating ovens. More solvent-evaporating ovens cost money and occupy large areas of the production floor.

Tesla’s cells are high energy density. This implies a thicker electrode coating. The thicker the coating, the more time it takes to drive off the solvent. Thick electrode coatings compound the drying problem.

“Maxwell’s dry battery electrode offers significantly higher loading and produces a thick electrode that allows high energy density.” -Maxwell

“16X Production Capacity Increase.” -Maxwell

Also, in our estimation, the production capacity potential of Maxwell’s process is at least as important or possibly MORE important than the potential energy density increase.

Let’s look at the traditional solvent-based electrode coating method in order to understand how we came to our conclusions.

Traditional solvent-based electrode coating methods consume a large part of the production process. In the following figure, each processing step’s size on the page is approximately proportional to the plant area. The area just for the electrode preparation, coating, evaporation and evaporant recovery is almost 1/3 of the total plant area.

Special machines lay a thin layer of slurry onto copper or aluminum sheets to make the electrodes. Then, in a continuous manner, the coated electrode sheets go through a large, long oven used to evaporate the solvent. The solvent must also be recovered and reused.

All this solvent-based slurry manufacturing equipment is expensive and consumes 15% of the total capital equipment costs.

Also see: “Modeling the Cost of Lithium Ion batteries for Electric Drive Vehicles” Argonne, ANL 11/32, section 5.4 Adjustment of Costs for Varying Production Volumes and section, table 5.4, and section 5.3.3, Electrode Coating on Current-Collector Foil.

In summary:

Have we solved the puzzle? We think its likely that Tesla likes this process because it allows them to squeeze more production out of an existing line and the new method of coating the electrode seems to be the key. However, there’s a fly in the ointment.

We said that the traditional solvent-based electrode coating technique was not amenable to just cranking up processing speed. If you wanted to crank out more cells per hour, you have to buy multiples of that equipment. That appears to be true based on the Argonne study. However, the fly in the ointment is that it looks like most of the equipment on the line also has that problem (table 5.4 in the Argonne report).

So, we are still missing a piece of the puzzle. We still don’t know enough about Maxwell’s new process to completely understand. Perhaps the traditional solvent-based coating technique has a limit to how thick the coating can be? Perhaps, with Maxwell’s new process, Tesla can increase the coating thickness a bit more and that’s how it'll increase energy density?

At any rate, it's good food for thought. Let us know what you think in the comment section.

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From: Jamie1536/17/2019 1:26:40 PM
   of 15600
They say Musk deleted Twitter. I wonder how long that will last. The latest dustup came after he posted a pic and didn't cite the artist. The artist was giddy but wanted to know why he didn't use her name. He deleted all his messages about the image, the image and then deleted Twitter.

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To: Eric who wrote (10163)6/17/2019 1:33:44 PM
From: Dan R
   of 15600
Agreed. and even most decent backyard folks shy away from timing belts given the tools and the need to be perfect (or bad things happen). But the interval is 105-110K on older models and the newer ones are chain driven cams so they do not have a defined interval and will most likely be good for 250-300K+

Perhaps a water pump and maybe a trans service but the article said 15K miles a year for 5 years so at 75K nothing like that would need to be done.

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To: Jamie153 who wrote (10165)6/17/2019 1:40:02 PM
From: kidl
   of 15600
I saw this story too. The man seems to be addicted to Twitter.

The part I don’t get ... The man apparently works some 100 hours/week. How does he find the time to fart around with inconsequential tweets?

The rather bizarre story:

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To: kidl who wrote (10167)6/17/2019 1:46:45 PM
From: Jamie153
   of 15600
Investors are happy. The stock is up over 5%.

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To: Jamie153 who wrote (10168)6/17/2019 2:04:13 PM
From: kidl
   of 15600
Investors are happy. The stock is up over 5%.
Maybe this should read "Traders are happy". I am :-)

My personal current bet ... Musk will get close to his Q2 delivery target but Q2 financials will be ugly. A great trading opportunity!

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To: Eric who wrote (10163)6/17/2019 2:06:28 PM
From: d[-_-]b
1 Recommendation   of 15600
The biggy I can think of off the top of my hat is most Honda's have interference engines, that darn timing belt.
Half or less of Honda's - most have gone to timing chains. But the replacement schedule is at 100K miles not 75K - so it should probably not be included in the ownership cost. That said the dealer charges about $1,000 for the service, a local Asian car repair place I've used charges $500 and the one I did myself was about $200 in parts including the belts, water pump etc.

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To: kidl who wrote (10169)6/17/2019 2:24:01 PM
From: Jamie153
   of 15600
I erred when I used the word "investor."

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To: d[-_-]b who wrote (10170)6/18/2019 7:51:13 AM
From: Eric
   of 15600

Where is the correct puller to pull off the crankshaft damper? It's a pain having to change cogged belts or chains on an ICE engine. A lot of them can be gear driven directly as I have worked on in the past.

The fuel delivery system, ignition system, cooling system, you have to get rid of the majority of all that heat that doesn't do anything.....

One of the big problems with ICE's.

The ongoing maintenance...

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From: Eric6/18/2019 7:55:37 AM
   of 15600
Tesla is planning a series of surprises for the second half of the year

Fred Lambert

- Jun. 18th 2019 5:37 am ET




Tesla had a difficult first half of the year on many levels, but the second half of the year could prove to be quite interesting as we learn that Tesla is planning a series of surprises to be unveiled by the end of the year.

It’s not that the first half was without big announcements.

We have seen the Model Y for the first time and Tesla finally launched its Supercharger V3 – though the rollout has been quite slow.

However, we expect that things will ramp up for Tesla during the second half of 2019 with a series of increasingly more existing announcements starting with…

Tesla Model S and Model X Refresh We have already seen a partial refresh of Tesla’s flagship sedan and SUV earlier this year with a motor and suspension upgrade, but we expect something bigger to be released in a few months.

It will mainly consist of an interior design refresh, which we have been talking about for a year now.

In July of last year, we reported that Tesla is planning a significant interior refresh for Model S and Model X and we even leaked the first design drawings:

As seen on the images, Tesla plans to bring to Model S and Model X a similar interior design as currently found in Model 3 but with an extra screen and more “premium materials.”

At the time, we were told that Tesla was planning to release the new interior early in the third quarter 2019 – although plans might have changed since last year.

While Tesla introduced a new exterior for Model S and Model X in 2016, the interior design of those vehicles has only received minor incremental improvements since launching the Model S back in 2012.

It would make a new interior long overdue, but it is also expected not to be the only significant change introduced to the lineup by the end of the year.

Tesla’s Own New Battery Technology with Maxwell We expect Tesla to introduce a new battery technology, probably starting with Model S and Model X, by the end of the year.

T esla’s recent acquisition of Maxwell and its dry electrode technology is a clear indicator that the automaker is upgrading its battery chemistry, but we are also expecting an announcement about Tesla making its own battery cells.

We have recently analyzed a conversation between CEO Elon Musk, CTO JB Straubel, and VP of Technology Drew Baglino about Tesla’s battery technology and we concluded that the automaker all but confirmed that they aim to introduce a plan to produce their own battery cells with Maxwell’s technology.

The new battery cells should result in lower cost, more volume, higher energy density, and even better longevity.

We have high expectations for the new technology and we expect the details to be announced by the end of the year at Tesla’s Battery and Powertrain Investor Day, which currently doesn’t have an official date.

Tesla Pickup Truck

This one is not as much of a “surprise” since Tesla has been guiding the unveiling of its pickup truck for “this summer” or “by the end of the year” for a while now, but the truck itself is apparently going to be surprising.

Musk has been talking about a futuristic design and everyone is struggling to figure out what it will look like.

We recently shared a bunch of renderings and drawings of Tesla’s Pickup truck based on new information about the official teaser:

On top of the design, we are expecting some incredible specs following comments from Musk about the truck.

The CEO recently said that the Tesla Pickup truck will cost less than $50,000, be better than a Ford F150 and a Porsche 911.

Tesla is expected to unveil the truck during the second half of 2019.

Tesla Insurance

Musk has been promising a new Tesla insurance program to launch in the next few months.

Two years ago, we published an exclusive report revealing that Tesla was working on a new car insurance program, which it started offering to its customers in Australia and Hong Kong. It has since expanded into several other markets including North America.

But we learned earlier this year that it was only a first step toward building Tesla’s own insurance products and the automaker is aiming to soon release a “more compelling product.”

It was originally supposed to launch last month, but Musk said that they need to complete an undisclosed acquisition before they can launch the insurance product.

Tesla has been applying for regulatory approval of the product and it is expected to launch in the coming months.

Maybe More

There could be some more surprises before the end of the year, but it would already be a pretty full year for Tesla in terms of product announcements either way.

If Tesla was to announce something else by the end of the year, what do you think it would be? Let us know in the comment section below.

My comments:

Don't you just love teasers!


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