Tesla’s Battery Day is coming up next month and yet the teasers still keep coming in. Hints of nanotechnology are circulating the Twitter world after some cryptic responses by Elon Musk to a few fans.
400 Wh/kg *with* high cycle life, produced in volume (not just a lab) is not far. Probably 3 to 4 years.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 24, 2020
The dates for the Battery Day and shareholders’ meetings have been postponed multiple times due to various reasons. But the final date has been set for September 22, when both the meeting and battery day will be held virtually with only minimal in-person attendance chosen randomly.
The invite page background on Tesla’s website was taken as a form of the puzzle by fanatics, and a lot of them spent time uncovering the hidden message that could serve as a clue to what is to come next month.
People did a reverse Google search on the image after a few touches, and the image of silicon nanowires was uncovered. Silicon nanowires are a developing study of another elemental structure that could greatly improve the performance of batteries. Another company that is working on this technology is Amprius. They have patent protected their work on silicon nanowires. However, one interesting fact that interests fans are that the Amprius headquarters is located just beside Tesla’s factory in California, where the battery manufacturing plant is also based.
There isn’t any proof available confirming the alliance between the two companies but there were reports saying that the former engineering and manufacturing head of Amprius now works for Tesla.
A March study about silicon nanowires based on existing data shows that the life span of a traditional lithium-ion battery albeit its safety and high density is not immune to degradation.
“The huge volume change (400%) of the Si material during the lithiation/delithiation processes destroys its structure, which greatly reduces the initial coulombic efficiency, cycle stability and rate performance of the battery. Accordingly, constructing nanostructured Si, particularly silicon nanowires (SiNWs), can help to address the above issues.”
The massive energy density that this type of material can provide to a battery cell will be able to power an electric jet.
As if Tesla isn’t already defying limits on making efficient electric cars and uncovering a lot of potential for innovation, a move towards this battery upgrade will take Tesla to more than just land travel breakthroughs. They will be able to begin work on sustainable flight transport as well, which is something that Elon Musk isn’t new to, as we take into account the success of SpaceX.