Tesla partner Panasonic says 30% energy density increase in lithium-ion batteries possible

Discussion in 'Tesla Energy' started by Carolyn Fortuna, Apr 10, 2017.

  1. Carolyn Fortuna

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    #1 Carolyn Fortuna, Apr 10, 2017
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    The market for lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) is expected to exceed $33 billion by 2019 and $26 billion by 2023, according to global market research firm SIS International Research. The success of Tesla and its Nevada-based Gigafactory facility has generated a lot of excitement in the LIB industry. Panasonic’s automobile battery sales are forecast to grow to $4 billion a year by March 2019, largely due to their partnership with Tesla.

    “We think the existing technology can still extend the energy density of LIBs by 20% to 30%,” Panasonic’s President Kazuhiro Tsuga said. “But there is a trade-off between energy density and safety. So, if you look for even more density, you have to think about additional safety technology as well. Solid-state batteries are one [possible] answer.” These safety concerns about LIBs are also pushing Panasonic to look at alternative battery power sources.

    Solid state batteries use a solid electrolyte instead of the electrolytic solution that is essential in transporting the positive lithium ions between the cathode and anode in today’s batteries. Researchers have succeeded in developing an efficient electrolytic solid material that significantly improves lithium ion conductance, raising hopes that batteries with much higher power densities are edging closer to practical applications.

    [​IMG]Tesla 2170 lithium ion cells produced in partnership with Panasonic powering Tesla’s Powerwall 2

    “For decades now we have been pushing the limits of our Li-ion batteries in terms of energy density,” Naoaki Yabuuchi, an associate professor at Tokyo Denki University, acknowledged. “Today’s best Li-ion cells can put out about 300 watts per kilogram; a package of Li-ion cells can give off from 150 watts to 250 watts per kilogram. These levels are already close to the theoretical maximum.”

    Yabuuchi is an expert on various types of rechargeable batteries. In his view, LIBs will reach the limit of their desirability as early as the first half of 2020 if their development continues to rely on existing technologies. But he has hope that new research can open up more capacity. “Existing LIBs still have room to improve their energy density because you can raise the density by introducing a nickel-based cathode material, so you can expect the batteries will still be used in the next few years.”

    It’s not just Tesla and its partners like Panasonic that are interested in LIB capacity. Range anxiety continues to plague possible Tesla and other EV brand buyers, as they fear an inability to travel far enough between vehicle charges and not having access to convenient charging facilities. “We want our electric cars to go 500 km [on a single charge],” said Shinji Nakanishi, a battery researcher at Toyota, via EVannex. “And for this, we want rechargeable batteries that can generate 800 to 1,000 watt-hours per liter.”

    Battery research into alternatives to LIBs is quickly evolving. The Battery Symposium in Japan, once a showcase for fuel cells and LIB cathode materials, has seen a significant shift in recent years to industry presentations on solid-state, lithium-air, and non-Li-ion batteries.

    Another possible LIB alternative, lithium-air batteries, has the ability to greatly improve energy density. At this point, however, researchers are stymied because lithium-air batteries suffer from poor cycle life. But researchers haven’t given up hope. They’ve been attempting to raise the density close to theoretically expected levels, even if it occurs only for a single charge cycle.

    And an entirely different alternative to the LIB doesn’t even use lithium: a cathode material for the sodium-ion battery has a discharge capacity that beats LIBs and enables the power packs to be recharged upward of 500 times. That would circumvent one of the existing weakness that now limits this technology. Two nickel-based cathode materials, lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide and lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide, are sometimes mentioned in these discussions, but neither seem to have a clear potential for practical use within the next decade, according to Yabuuchi.

    Tesla is leading the global shift in the automotive industry from traditional gasoline powered vehicles to more fuel-efficient, environmentally responsible modes of transport. Musk has exclaimed that the 2170 cell is “the highest energy density cell in the world and also the cheapest.” Yet, as an industry disrupter, part of Tesla’s vision has been to constantly evaluate new battery technologies. Back in 2013, Ted Merendino, a Tesla product planner, noted that “Tesla has one of the largest cell characterization laboratories in the world. We have just about every cell you can imagine on test.”

    That constant inquiry behind the scenes into cell characterization at Tesla may become prudent in previously unforeseen ways. Recently, for example, with the lithium market in its most severe shortage in modern memory, Musk insisted that the amount of lithium in a LIB is about 2% of its total volume and that “lithium in a salt form is virtually everywhere… there is definitely no supply issues with lithium.” Some in the industry disagree with lithium’s resource stability, however, so that alternative battery research may end up offering good karma.

    In 2016, sales of LIBs for electric vehicles increased by some 66%, up from 12.3 GWh of capacity to 20.4 GWh. LIBs are the go-to source for EV power right now. Many other products use LIBs: chainsaws, mini-cameras, solar window chargers, wheelchairs, bicycles, portable self-charging desks.

    But, with safety issues surrounding LIBs, the limitations of their charge capacity, and lithium market limitations, will Tesla invest in R&D toward alternative battery development so it sooner-than-later adds battery alternatives to its catalog?

    Of course, advances from R&D take years to make their way to the marketplace, but should one or more of these promising technologies be translated for commercial means, then we may see innovative improvements in batteries, which could also enhance the performance and cost of our beloved Teslas.

    Source: Nikkei Asian Review via EVannex

    Article: ENERGYTesla partner Panasonic says 30% energy density increase in lithium-ion batteries possible
     
  2. J.Taylor

    J.Taylor Active Member

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    #2 J.Taylor, Apr 10, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017
    Panasonic (just slightly ahead of our time) and Tesla (to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy) are a good team.
    It is nice to see them get improvements in battery technology out of the lab and into production.
     
  3. Johnny04

    Johnny04 New Member

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    That's disappointing. So for a 100kWh battery, the max we could hope for is an increase to 120kWh-130kWh? That means the max range we could hope for is 378-410 miles. While the average 75kWh battery can only go up to 310-337 miles. That would certainly mean no lithium-ion electric planes... ever.
     
  4. Aljohn

    Aljohn New Member

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    The LEAF comparison is not accurate or germane. With the Georgia and Federal Tax credit, leasing the LEAF was FREE. The combined tax credits $12,500 nearly equaled the three year lease plus residual value ~ $350/month. That is how they were sold in Georgia, and other states with substantial tax credits. Following the removal of the Georgia Tax Credit, it was no longer an easy sell for Dealers' personnel. Couple the Tax Credits and the deduction for Auto Sales tax -- Georgia applies full sales tax on leases, the LEAF was a very easy sell financially. They couldn't keep them in stock -- They were FREE!

    After removing the Georgia Tax credit, it was no longer an "easy" sell. Typically, Dealer Sales personnel aren't vested in selling EV's which tend to have a longer sell cycle -- the reality of commissions prevail. This was the issue with the Cadillac EV and the new Bolt. The success of the EV market may more depend on the Sales model, not the incentives.
     
  5. J.Taylor

    J.Taylor Active Member

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    I wouldn't be too disappointed in the projection. Read carefully ...
    We think the existing technology can still extend the energy density of LIBs by 20% to 30%,”
    The “existing technology” in production or soon to be in production gives this increase in performance. Remember there are lots of potential improvements that claim to double (or better) the performance of batteries and TESLA is testing each one they find to be promising. The 6% annual improvement rate looks to hold for some time to come.
     
  6. DanP

    DanP New Member

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    I cannot believe an expert in battery technology can say exactly that: “Today’s best Li-ion cells can put out about 300 watts per kilogram; a package of Li-ion cells can give off from 150 watts to 250 watts per kilogram." as it would show the expert confuses energy (Wh) and power (W). So my guess is that the quote was mistranslated.
     
  7. macpacheco

    macpacheco New Member

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    Interesting that they completely ignore the 18650 to 2170 form factor change.
    There's also zero mention to air vs liquid cooled Lithium packs.
    Tesla has been doing liquid cooled packs since the beginning. It enables them to push batteries much further.
    Tesla Model S/X packs are still being made with 18650.
    Once Tesla migrates to 2170, their pack mass will decrease by at least 20%.
    Migration to 2170 should happen late 2017. The reason is Tesla signed a huge Lithium supply contract with Panasonic a few years ago.
    Just the mass reduction of moving to 2170 gives some extra range. Some 10-20% extra range. Less range gain driving in flat lands at stable speeds. More range gain driving up and down or with frequently varying speeds.
    Tesla could then introduce a top pack with 120kWh. With 350 miles of range for a S120D/X120D. Keeping the pack with the same mass.
    But Musk already stated that the current 100kWh pack provides enough range.
    With MS/MX 100D+superchargers, there's no range anxiety but rather range impatience.

    There are a few people that truly need larger packs than 100kWh, those don't drive near superchargers and need perhaps the equivalent of 2 full charges a day, and can't wait 4+ hours to recharge with L2 chargers in the middle of the day.

    The others that have access to superchargers, there's no reason for range anxiety. Superchargers are there.

    The EPA rated range is a mix of several driving regimes, but for highway it equates to range at 55mph. Driving at 80 will decrease that range by about a 1/3.

    I know, driving at 55mph can even be dangerous in some freeways. But it could be the difference in making a long drive non stop or having to stop for 30 minutes at a supercharger.

    The true reason Tesla isn't going to introduce larger packs for MS/MX is there's not enough supply considering expected demand for M3, PowerPack and PowerWall. Perhaps after the 1st GF is operating at full capacity in 2019, Tesla will be able to satisfy the range impatience customers with larger packs.

    It will eventually be possible to have a 150kWh pack on MS/MX. 400 miles EPA range. Over 300 miles at 80mph.

    Ok, flack jacket on.
     
  8. macpacheco

    macpacheco New Member

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    So 400 mile range is not enough for you ???????
    Lithium Ion electric planes are already starting to come to market.
    In my estimations, Lithium Ion needs to improve another 300% in kWh/Kg to make electric planes that can fly fast and have enough range to being competing with fossil jets. But while fossil jets can fly for 7-17 hours depending on their size, the first fast electric commercial jets will be able to fly no more than 3 hours (2 hours in practice due to reserve requirements).
    But they have several advantages that compensate for their shortcomings.
    For instance an electric jet can be designed to fly at ultra high altitudes, like above 50000ft. The thinner the air, the more mileage they will get. Electric jets keep their power no matter the altitude, while fossil jets loose power the higher they go.
    The real limitation is having someone with Elon Musk's dedication and $$$ to challenge pre conceptions and come up with a totally different design that's 100% specific to the needs to electric fan jets. No settling to using cheaper parts that are already available.

    But if one settles for aircraft half as fast, making them electric become so much easier.
    Probably doable today, but the market wants Mach 0.80 class aircraft. Mach 0.50 isn't acceptable anymore (turboprop speeds).
     
  9. J.Taylor

    J.Taylor Active Member

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    Elon said an electric airplane could fly from LA to New York with battery capacity at 400 Watt Hours per kilogram.
    Tesla batteries are now better than 250 Watt-Hour per kilogram. Battery capacity is improving at 6% per year or better, so 400 Wh/kg is 5 to 10 years in our future.
    Some improvements such as a wing-body and bi-plane wing design will improve range vs energy requirements. High altitude will prevent any residual sonic boom from reaching the ground.
    Look for serious electric air supersonic transport in 10 to 20 years.
     
  10. Geertsen

    Geertsen New Member

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    ..just slightly ahead of our time is an old slogan - Panasonic used "Ideas for life" in a very long time. Yes. they are a very good team. Panasonic, the worst marketing company in the world (but some of the worlds best products - they have made everything you can use with a plug (themselves in-house) for the last 50 years. Tesla the world's best marketing and good product - quality - few mistakes (thank you Japan)
     
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  11. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON New Member

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    Please explain to me how the market DROPPING from 33BB to 26BB from 2019 to 2023 is a good thing. I hope I am missing something.
     
  12. Jan Kjetil Andersen

    Jan Kjetil Andersen New Member

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    Good point, this must be an error, nobody think that the lithium ion market will drop from 2019 to 2023.

    I see that it is quoted correctly from the linked article, but the numbers in that article does not add up.
     

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