Musk: Cheaper Tesla ready 'in about three years'

BBC Technology 23 Sep 2020 01:57

By James Clayton
North America technology reporter

Tesla car grille close-up
image copyrightGetty Images

Tesla founder Elon Musk has announced technology that he says will make Tesla batteries cheaper and more powerful.

At a live presentation that Mr Musk labelled 'Battery Day' he also teased the possibility of a $25,000 (£19,600), fully-autonomous Tesla "in about three years time".

"This has always been our dream to make an affordable electric car," he said.

But the news didn't excite investors and $50bn was wiped off its stock market value.

The main announcement was Tesla's new larger cylindrical cells. It was claimed the new batteries will provide five times more energy, six times more power and 16% greater driving range.

But the technology announced is likely to take years to implement.

Tesla's approach includes integrating the battery so that it forms part of the structure of the vehicle, thereby reducing the effective weight of the battery.

Mr Musk said that full production is about three years away.
image copyrightTesla

The speech took place in front of 240 shareholders - each sitting in a Tesla Model 3.

Prof Stanley Whittingham - who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry last year for his work on lithium-ion batteries - told the BBC that "tackling all the opportunities is high risk, but high pay-off".

Mr Musk also announced that as well as purchasing batteries from Panasonic and LG Chem - Tesla itself would begin to make them.

One expert said scaling up would be "challenging".

Mr Rawles also warned that so much of the content of the battery is expensive metals - "You can only reduce the cost down to a point".

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has announced technology that he says will make Tesla batteries cheaper.
image copyrightTesla
Earlier this month, customer group Consumer Reports released a damning report about Tesla's automated driving services. The research concluded that "for now, full self-driving capability… remains a misnomer".

Tesla's boss however announced that a "beta" version of the full Autopilot software would be available "in a month or so".

Earlier this month he unveiled a pig with a coin-sized computer chip in its brain to demonstrate his ambitious plans to create a working brain-to-machine interface.

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