According to Japanese mass mediaPanasonic aims to work with Tesla to develop cobalt-free batteries. A new product ready for mass production should appear in two or three years. New batteries promise to be cheaper and significantly lower the price of electric vehicles. In fact, this will lead to the emergence of a “popular” electric car with a price of about $ 25 thousand, which is, on average, half the price of modern Tesla models.
The intention to create a lithium cell without cobalt in the electrodes was announced by the head of the energy technology and production department of the Japanese company Panasonic Shawn Watanabe. At a virtual event today for CES 2021, he said the following: “In two or three years, we may be able to introduce a high energy density element without cobalt.”… Panasonic expects this to provide the company with the growing market it sees in Tesla’s electric vehicles.
In the long term, Tesla itself is going to produce batteries at giant enterprises, but until this moment, which will not come very soon, Panasonic and other battery manufacturers will be the main suppliers of batteries for the American manufacturer’s electric vehicles.
It should be added that Panasonic is barely paying for Tesla’s battery supply. This business has only recently begun to generate ghostly profits. Reducing the volume of cobalt in the electrodes of lithium batteries will reduce the cost of producing batteries, although in general this leads to a complication of technical processes, production and, of course, turns out to be a rather expensive measure. But nowhere to go. For mass electric vehicles, cheaper batteries are needed, even if they are inferior in performance to batteries with cobalt.
Panasonic sees the reuse of raw materials from used batteries as one of the options for reducing the cost of battery production. The company has reused materials from used batteries before, but now it is taking it to the next level. It is reported that the American startup Redwood Materials of the former Tesla CTO Jeffrey Brian Strobel (JB Straubel) helps her in this.
Redwood Materials accepts battery waste from all over America, and then recycles and extracts cobalt, nickel, copper, manganese and other valuable metals and minerals from it. Panasonic is counting on the supply of raw materials from Redwood Materials, which will ultimately make batteries cheaper and less harmful to the environment.
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