Tesla Motors Inc might be known for its electric cars, but the firm is more than just that. Tesla CEO, Elon Musk has other interests outside EVs He is working on space exploration with Space X, and he is on the board of Solar City. This is not about the wide interests of Elon Musk, however Tesla itself is not likely to define itself as “just” a carmaker.
Defining Tesla’s Interests
Tesla is in the business of making cars and that is no longer news. The firm also wants to solve the problem of energy storage with its Power Wall and Power Pack units. It is also investing in building better batteries for its cars on a large scale.
Many people might find it easy to dismiss Tesla’s interest in energy storage and batteries as mere services to help its auto business. This is true in the light of Tesla’s plan to have its Gigafactory, which is currently being built in Nevada as a key to the full adoption of EVs.
Tesla CTO Says its More than a Car Maker
Tesla’s CTO, JB Straubel gave more insight into the fact that Tesla is more than just a car maker yesterday at the solar conference in San Francisco.
Fortune reports that the CTO predicts that low cost batteries will change the face of transport and access to electricity in the next 10n years. The Tesla Motors CTO said that in due time, all vehicles except planes and rockets will be powered by batteries. Not only will they have battery power, the batteries will be combined with solar panels.
Tesla is investing into Batteries
Solar energy has the potential to power the world, probably cheaper than fossil fuels once the initial costs have been bypassed. Solar energy is greener, and of course, it is sustainable because the sun won’t stop shining anytime soon. The problem with solar energy is its storage. How do you access the energy when the sun is down in the evening or during winter?
Batteries are the keys to storage but they have limited use. The energy density of the battery controls the volume of energy it can store. The bigger the battery, the bigger the energy density, but bulky batteries are simply useless. If you compress the density of a battery, you will shorten its lifespan. Now, Tesla is working with a Li-ion genius from Dalhousie Uni to increase the density of batteries without cutting their lifespan.
Secondly, Tesla’s Gigafactory deserves that Giga- prefix in all sense of the word. It is a 10M square-foot building where enough batteries to power 500,000 EVs per year will be made by 2020. In addition, Tesla has bought 1,200 acres next to the Gigafactory and the plan to buy another 350 acres is in the works.