Tesla CEO Elon Musk has unveiled a series of battery technology breakthroughs, which he claims will revolutionise electric cars.
Speaking at Tesla’s Battery Day event on Tuesday, Mr Musk described the advances as “a massive breakthrough” that would dramatically increase the performance of electric vehicles while simultaneously making them more affordable.
A new shingled spiral design of Tesla’s lithium-ion battery will transform the way energy can be stored and charged within a lithium-ion battery, offering five-times more energy, a 16 per cent increase in range and 500 per cent more power.
Together with other advancements, Mr Musk said it would allow Tesla to manufacture a $25,000 electric car within the next few years.
In order to do this, Mr Musk said it was necessary to reimagine the entire legacy supply chain – from the mining and manufacturing process, to the recycling process of used batteries.
In an effort to accelerate production, Tesla will begin to mine elements needed for these next-generation batteries, such as lithium.
There is so much damn lithium on Earth it’s crazy,” he said. “There’s enough lithium in the United States alone to transform every vehicle in the country into an electric vehicle.”
The advances will make car batteries 56 per cent cheaper and will enable the production of Tesla’s first truly affordable vehicle.
“We’re confident that around three years from now we’ll be able to offer a very compelling $25,000 vehicle, which is also fully autonomous,” he said.
On the manufacturing side, Mr Musk said Tesla had developed the largest casting machine ever made
Another breakthrough will see the car’s battery become an integral part of the vehicle’s structure.
“It really took a tremendous amount of effort,” Mr Musk said.
The breakthroughs are part of Tesla’s drive to push the transport industry towards renewable energy solutions.
Musk said that ultimately measuring “the fundamental good of Tesla” would be “by how many years we accelerate sustainable energy.”
He said: “To achieve the transition to sustainable energy, we must produce more affordable EVs and energy storage, while building factories faster and with far less investment.”
The billionaire entrepreneur took to Twitter ahead of the event to warn that the new battery technology would not be commercially available for at least two years.
“This affects long-term production, especially Semi, Cybertruck and Roadster, but what we announce will not reach serious high-volume production until 2022,” he said.
“The extreme difficulty of scaling production of new technology is not well understood. It’s 1,000 per cent to 10,000 per cent harder than making a few prototypes. The machine that makes the machine is vastly harder than the machine itself.”
Tesla currently has four vehicles on the market – the Model S, Model 3, Model X and Model Y – and has more on the way.
The Tesla Semi will be the company’s first foray into heavy goods vehicles, while the Cybertruck aims to transform pick-up trucks.