Tesla is working on a secret project called Roadrunner, through which it will produce cheap large-scale battery cells. The target price pursued by the American firm would be $100 per kWh, a figure that will achieve the desired price parity between thermal and electric cars even without subsidies.
The firm has a fruitful relationship with Panasonic and has just signed contracts with CATL and LG Chem to supply cells for cars produced in Shanghai Gigafactory 3. In parallel, it has been working on its technology. A few weeks ago, Tesla began building a pilot cell production line at the Fremont factory. The new batteries will have a higher energy density than the current ones and will be cheaper.
These new cells will use technology from Maxwell, from the Canadian research team led by Jeff Dahn (who recently patented a liquid electrolyte technology with double additive) and from Tesla’s developers. Initially, the new batteries will also have a high lifespan (estimated at 1.6 million kilometers).
Tesla is already testing prototypes equipped with the Roadrunner project cells, and its short-term goal is to start large volume production.