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Elon Musk Says Tesla Battery Patent 'Way More Important Than It Sounds'

Elon Musk Says Tesla Battery Patent 'Way More Important Than It Sounds'

Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) patented a new battery cell on Thursday, which contains a tabless electrode that Elon Musk has termed as “important.” 

What Happened

Writing about the constraints with current batteries in its patent application, the automaker stated in its patent application, “Current cells use a jelly-roll design in which the cathode, anode, and separators are rolled together and have a cathode tab and an anode tab to connect to the positive and negative terminals of the cell can.” 

Tesla explained, “The path of the current necessarily travels through these tabs to connectors on the outside of the battery cell. However, ohmic resistance is increased with distance when current must travel all the way along the cathode or anode to the tab and out of the cell. Furthermore, because the tabs are additional components, they increase costs and present manufacturing challenges.”

Tesla has invented a technology which it calls “Cell with a Tabless Electrode.” Using this technology, it would be able to build cells that avoid present-day constraints. Describing the process, Tesla described the functioning of the new cell in the patent submission, “The cell includes a first substrate having a first coating disposed thereon, wherein a second portion of the first substrate at a proximal end along the width of the first substrate comprises a conductive material.” 

They added, “ An inner separator is disposed over the first substrate. A second substrate is disposed over the inner separator. The second substrate has a second coating disposed thereon. The first substrate, the inner separator, and the second substrate in a successive manner, the first substrate, the inner separator, and the second substrate are rolled about a central axis.”

Commenting on the development of the new battery technology Musk tweeted, “Way more important than it sounds.”

Why It Matters

The automaker has been filing patents related to battery technology, it recently patented a new electrode for its million-mile battery. It is also developing a new battery pack that would allow its vehicles to achieve a range of more than 400 miles.

Additionally, Tesla is said to be working on a secret “Roadrunner” project that could enable the automaker to reach the $100 per kWh target, which would, in turn, allow its vehicles to achieve price parity with gasoline fuelled cars without subsidies, reported Electrek.

Tesla would be producing its own batteries using technologies developed by in-house teams, and from Jeff Dahn’s team, as well as through its acquisition of Maxwell.

As relations soured between Tesla and Panasonic Corporation (OTC: PCRFY), the electric carmaker’s focus on battery innovation and production has long been in the works. Musk had hinted on Tesla going it alone in battery manufacturing at the company’s shareholder meeting in July 2019.

Price Action

On Thursday, Tesla shares closed 0.32% lower at $780.04.


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