Teslaâ€™s annual shareholder meeting is today. However, the real show will be the carmakerâ€™s reveal of its new battery technology (AKA Battery Day).
To grasp the significance of Battery Day, The Hustle spoke with Omar Qazi, a software engineer and prominent Tesla writer.
(So prominent, in fact, that $TSLA short sellers are currently suing Qazi along with Elon Musk).
â€¦ from a 500k delivery goal for 2020.
To do so, itâ€™s vital that the electric vehicle (EV) maker can create an affordable battery.
Qazi tells us that a gas car costs about $125 per kWh. Once battery tech improves to that range of energy efficiency, the case for gas cars will not be great.
â€śBatteries are the largest cost of an EV,â€ť Qazi says. â€śIf EVs hit $100 per kWh, weâ€™re talking about an option that is cheaper than a gas car, has less maintenance, and doesnâ€™t pollute. That would be the tipping point for mass adoption of EVs.â€ť
Clean energy (wind, solar) has an infinite supply but â€” in industry parlance â€” it is intermittent. The sun doesnâ€™t always shine, and wind doesnâ€™t always blow.
The right battery tech provides a cost-effective way to store renewable energy.
â€śRenewables are incredibly cheap,â€ť Qazi says. â€śWeâ€™re talking as low as $0.02 per kWh. The key is matching demand with supply. A cheap enough battery can help facilitate this need and, ultimately, replace all fossil fuel plants.â€ť (Hereâ€™s one recent example in the UK.)
At present, Tesla has a number of partnerships with the likes of Panasonic and LG Chem to manufacture batteries (Gigafactories).
â€śTesla is probably making their own battery cell,â€ť Qazi posits. â€śThey want technology that can best integrate with their software and achieve the maximum battery life with the best performance.â€ť
While Qazi expects Tesla to maintain its battery partnerships, the most viable way for the company to achieve its mass production targets is to control the battery tech from A through Z.
That very well could be todayâ€™s announcement.