Elon Musk is no doubt one of the largest consumers of lithium ion batteries at the moment. He makes two interesting points recently on other battery research and hints about a major breakthrough of their own.
You know who people come to first when they’ve got a lithium ion battery?
Tesla CEO Elon Musk subtly alluded to a new battery technology during the company’s recent earnings conference call, a transcript of which was provided by Seeking Alpha.
When asked by an analyst about any number of recent battery advancements, including solid-state battery technology, Musk responded that any bold proclamations involving battery breakthroughs typically aren’t as important as they might initially seem.
Okay. Here’s my opinion. The battery breakthrough of the week, battery breakthrough du jour. When somebody has like some great claim that they’ve got this awesome battery, you know what, send us a sample. Or if you don’t trust us, send it to an independent lab, where the parameters can be verified. Otherwise, STF.
Yes. So everything works on PowerPoint. You know, I could give you a PowerPoint presentation about teleportation to the Andromeda Galaxy. That doesn’t mean it works. So Tesla is the biggest buyer of lithium ion batteries on earth. You know who people come to first when they’ve got a lithium ion battery? Us, because we’re their biggest customer.
I would love it if we could have some breakthrough. It’d be awesome. I think there are some interesting things on the horizon. But then the time it takes from something working in the lab to working at moderate production levels to working at higher production levels to optimizing the cost is several years. So it’s not like it suddenly pops out of nowhere.
The most significant one breakthrough in a while.
Shortly thereafter, Musk seemed to hint that the company was in the midst of testing an intriguing new battery technology, perhaps alluding to the work Dahn and his team of researchers have been putting together.
I mean, there are some breakthroughs that I think are achievable. They’re confidential, so I can’t talk about them on this call, but there’s one particular avenue that I’m confident could be made to work. That would be fairly – the most significant one breakthrough in a while.
As the EV space becomes more and more crowded, Tesla’s ability to introduce best-in-class battery technology will become an increasingly important product differentiation.