The way we drive is set to be transformed after renewable energy tycoon Elon Musk made some significant announcements on the much-anticipated Tesla Battery Day this week.
The new Tesla battery has the working name 4680 which is simply named after its dimensions (46mm by 80mm) but promises to deliver enormous benefits for the fleet of Tesla vehicles on the road in 2023.
The change of design to the new cylindrical dimensions will deliver savings of 14 per cents (USD) per kWh, which would bring electric vehicles on a much more level playing field with petrol and diesel cars.
The new battery is expected to deliver five times as much energy, six times as much power and an increase in range of 16 per cent, which means a current Tesla Model S could potentially travel up to 750km on a single charge.
“This really bodes well for the future, and it means that the long term scaling of Tesla and the sustainable energy products that we make will be massively increased,” Musk said.
“What tends to happen as companies get bigger they tend to slow down, actually (Tesla) is going to speed up.
“Long term we want to replace at least 1 per cent of the total vehicle fleet on earth, which is about 2 billion vehicles. Long term we want to make about 20 million vehicles a year.”
And Musk said the aim was to ultimately deliver electric vehicles a median cost of $25,000 USD to make them not only better for the environment than petrol and diesel options but also cheaper to purchase.
Tesla aims to be the most efficient manufacturing operation on the planet
The production of these batteries is also expected to deliver a tenfold reduction in the carbon footprint and a tenfold reduction in energy requirements to manufacture them through a high-speed continuous motion assemble line.
Musk compared this method of producing batteries to a highway with no more stop-start city driving, no red lights, just full velocity the entire way to maximise efficiencies. That means one assembly line would have the output of seven regular assembly lines, an enormous improvement in efficiency and productivity.
“If you think about the fundamental physics of a factory, how fast are things going and what percentage of the factory volume is doing useful work … if you break the factory down into cubic metre sections and say is the majority of this volume doing useful work, you would be astounded at how bad most factories are,” he said.
“They are at maybe two or three per cent, including our factory in Fremont (California). What we are trying to do here is with one factory achieve what may be five or even ten factories would be required to achieve.”
“Basically, Tesla is aiming to be the best at the manufacturing of any company on earth. This is the thing that is most important in the long run.”