Tesla plans to hold its Battery Day event in mid-September, CEO Elon Musk has confirmed, with the electric car company’s shareholder meeting also on the same day. The automaker had been planning to hold that meeting on July 7, but announced recently it would postpone it due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the time, though, Tesla did not confirm a new date for the event. Now, Musk has tweeted, the “tentative date” is September 15, 2020.
In addition to giving shareholders in the EV company an opportunity to vote on the latest suggestions, the event will also include a tour of the cell production system in Fremont, CA, Musk has confirmed. Indeed, the latest iteration of Tesla’s battery tech is likely to be the most interesting part of the day. It’s been the subject, after all, of some of Musk’s biggest promises in recent months.
Back in May, for example, a so-called “million mile” battery milestone was close to being crossed, it was reported. That would have a much extended lifespan compared to the current batteries Tesla uses in its vehicles and, over time, come to be cheaper than those power packs too. That’s instrumental in Musk’s overall plan to make Tesla’s electrified vehicles more attainable.
Chatter of the battery breakthrough resurfaced earlier this month, with supplier CATL – which works with Tesla, among other automakers – claiming to have indeed cracked the million mile point. Its new battery lasts for 16 years or 2 million kilometers (1.24 million miles), according to company chairman Zeng Yuqun. It was also ready for production, Yuqun insisted.
For the moment they’re going to be a little more expensive to manufacture – around 10-percent, it’s suggested – but that’s expected to change over time, too. Tesla is believed to be intending to use the new batteries first in the Model 3 produced in China and sold in the local market there. However after that expansion to other geographies is likely.
The overall goal is to bring electric vehicles to the point where they’re in line with the cost of their internal-combustion counterparts. At the same time, longer-lasting batteries could also have a much more effective life outside of their first implementation in a vehicle. One possibility is that the same battery pack could be used in two successive cars, before being transitioned on to use in fixed power storage.
Just how much of this story Musk plans to tell on September 15 remains to be seen, but the outspoken CEO has some track record at making big proclamations at these insider events. At the first Tesla Autonomy Day in April 2019, for example, Musk announced plans for a self-driving “robotaxi” service which he argued could significantly reduce the cost of ownership for drivers of its EVs, if they were willing to share them with a Tesla-operated ride-hailing program.