Armen Hareyan's picture

Musk Says Roadrunner Battery Will Be "Very Insane"

Advertisement

Tesla CEO basically confirmed the leaks and rumors about the upcoming Roadruner battery cell, which Tesla is building on its own at Fremont, and wrote, "It will be very insane."

After Electrek featured a massive battery cell that was supposedly from Tesla's Roadrunner line, Teslarati covered it in detail and Elon Musk replied saying, "It will be very insane."

What's interesting in Elon Musk's reply to Teslarati's Tweet is that Tesla's CEO pretty much confirms that the cell leaked on Elektrek yesterday was real. I highly recommend reading the article - if you are interested in Tesla and EV batteries - which Elon doesn't dispute (though that doesn't confirm all the speculation of course).

In my opinion battery advances and Tesla's new batteries are going to significantly drop the pricing of Tesla vehicles in 2022. Torque News' Paul Fosse says it will be below 30,000 dollars (the Model 3).

Electrek noted that the image of Tesla's Roadrunner Battery Cell was sent through an anonymous source and confirmed by another independent source. "From the get-go, it is evident that the cell is massive, closer in size to a supercapacitor than a traditional battery cell. Initial observations by battery enthusiasts online also point to some radical improvements that such a cell design would bring," writes Simon Alvarez at Teslarati.

A battery expert BRCooper comments on Twitter, writing "The roll is pushed into the can, copper anode down. The can is dropped into the holes of the first collector plate. The dielectric separator 520 is sandwiched in between and the top cover plate rests atop the aluminum collector caps of each battery in the group, thus providing the positive connections. There are no individual cells with individual caps. The cover plate is the cap and connection for all cells in the group. The entire thing sits in a bath a dielectric coolant that is pumped through the case."

As noted by Jordan Giesige of The Limiting Factor channel on YouTube, Tesla possibly adopting a 54×98 form factor for its next-generation EV battery cells has numerous implications for the entire battery manufacturing process and the performance of Tesla’s vehicles as a whole. With the larger cells, Tesla could produce battery packs that have an order of magnitude fewer cells than before. This would result in the company only using 1/10 the number of rolls, cans, electrolyte fills, and welds compared to its current operations. Such a strategy opens the doors to massive cost reductions that could help bring down the prices of electric cars to a notable degree.

However, "regardless of its actual size, the design of the Roadrunner cell appears to be optimized and designed for a cell-to-pack drop-in setup. Interestingly enough, the leaked image of the Roadrunner cell seems to have a tabless electrode design, which Elon Musk has dubbed is “way more important than it sounds” last year. Provided that the Roadrunner cells are indeed inspired by Tesla’s tabless electrode patent, the new form factor could pave the way to more performance and further reductions in production costs," notes Simon Alvarez at Teslarati.

Armen Hareyan is the founder and the Editor in Chief of Torque News. He founded TorqueNews.com in 2010, which since then has been publishing expert news and analysis about the automotive industry. He can be reached at Torque News Twitter, Facebok, Linkedin and Youtube.