At the time I commented that it looked like new charging stations. However, there were only cables extruding from the concrete. There was no signage that indicated the exact purpose of the construction. Recently they were confirmed to be new charging stations.
The shopping center where they are located is close to a main thoroughfare called the Gateway Arterial Road. In close proximity to the Brisbane airport this will Ride share drivers to charge and stay available more often.
This introduction to the Queensland EV network is an encouraging sign. This is a positive step as opposed to southern state’s taxes. Mark Bailey MP when opening the chargers was asked about the tax. He highlighted that the timing was more of an issue than the tax its self.
The introduction and promotion of the new charging stations is a sure sign that Queensland’s priorities are to grow the uptake of Electric vehicles not hinder them.
Tritium Charging platform
Tritium recently introduced their new platform for Charging stations recently. This introduction occurred in Brisbane Australia and outlined a new EV charger that has the capacity to flex its capacity of how many vehicles can be charged over the long term, thus increasing the viability of charging stations.
This introduction in Brisbane is again an encouraging sign that Queensland is looking to the future of transportation and is supporting a growing industry.
Queensland is looking to the future
I recently wrote about Springfield lakes and their vision for a future city. If Queensland Government was to introduce a tax, not only would it hinder the future city, it would also be counter intuitive to the owners of EVs, Tritium’s new platform and to the comments of Mark Bailey MP.
Queensland has been a big supporter of the Electric highway from Cairns down to the border and beyond. This highway over the coming years will hopefully grow to include a greater range.
So is Western Australia
It is encouraging to see Western Australia announce a similar highway down the west coast of Australia today.
The future is about increasing the ability for the EV drivers to charge and to have the confidence to drive distance like they do with today’s ICE vehicles.
Last week the future was looking like taxes may delay the transition to electrification, this week I am encourages to see the future looking brighter by the day.
Australian EV Uptake – Taxes or incentives, the world is transitioning to renewable energy and electric transportation is a cornerstone of that transition.
Steps are being taken globally to assist populations to take the first step to start their transition to a sustainable future.
Across many countries, there are different approaches to assist people to be able to afford to transition to renewable energy generation like solar panels and battery storage.
Transitioning to an electric vehicle is a much harder proposition as most electric vehicles, especially in Australia, are out of reach for average consumers.
Oil Companies and governments
In combination with the high price of electric vehicles, Oil companies have for years been the power players in the world due to the demand for oil and petrol for internal combustion engine (I.C.E.) vehicles.
They have grown unfettered for decades growing wealth and not caring for the impact they impose upon the environment and the health of everyday people.
Governments and the global economy have ridden on the back of these industries. However they have one fatal flaw, they are non renewable resources. Their impact to the environment is disastrous.
So making a step towards new thinking using renewable energy and consumers buying electric vehicles is in complete opposition to the direction that most polluting energy suppliers would want.
A large amount of the governments of the world have made large strides to develop policies that help to drive the uptake of electric vehicles.
This incentive-based approach has assisted the transition to sustainable energy and thus helps to reduce the carbon footprint that is causing such devastation to our environment.
The environment is changing and has been for several years. In 2019 Australia had one of the worst bush fire seasons in history. It is concerning that we refer to bush fires as a season now. That should make us pause.
When did we start referring to it as a season?
It used to be known as Summer. Yet many Politicians deny that the bush fires were caused by any environmental issues.
Australian’s have, for many years, prided themselves on being progressive when utilizing new technology that improves their lives.
Australia has always been a believer in supporting good science and allowing amazing scientific discovery to be at the heart of the Australian culture.
But it seems that this belief has been deteriorating for years when it comes to the all-important subject of climate change.
The great barrier reef one of the most amazing natural wonders has for decades been suffering the effects of the changes to the environment right before our eyes. Yet most politicians don’t agree that it is caused by climate change.
During COVID shutdowns in April of 2020, the world paused, and the environment had a chance to breathe and show what is possible. No pollution in the air, very little temperature change, seeing the beauty of the world without fog, or smog to mask it.
This is the future that we all want to see become reality.
So how can we maintain our lifestyles whilst also helping the environment?
The introduction of Solar power, battery storage, and electric vehicles have been the next best step. The ability for average people to help make a difference to the environment around them whilst not compromising their current standard of living has always been the goal.
So, what is South Australia thinking when they decide that a TAX on electric vehicles is the way to go.
When introducing taxes it is much harder for the average person to help. Buying an electric car in Australia is already an expensive proposition.
Last week, South Australia proposed, as part of their state government budget, a tax for Electric Vehicles. The amount of money that the taxes would provide is just over 1 million dollars.
This tax was mirrored in New South Wales and Victoria. An industry that could open up opportunities to new and fresh modes of transport that have a small environmental impact and do not continue to pollute once purchased seems strange to tax people willing to take that all-important first step.
Time to lead
Australian EV Uptake – Taxes or incentives. It is time for politicians to start listening to what the people who voted them in want, they need to pull their heads out of the sand, look at the science with fresh eyes and recognize that even with our relatively small population we have a part to play in the restoration of the environment globally.
Australia is so far behind when it comes to the uptake of electric vehicles and the transition to a sustainable future. This first step is essential for the success of reducing co2 being sent into the environment. Adding a Tax that reduces the enticement for consumers to buy electric vehicles before they have even taken off is madness.
We need to do more to make the direction we are taking a responsible, smart, and future-looking vision.
Australia’s car industry has suffered for decades and now when things are starting to look positive towards creating a new car revolution, governments feel that instead of incentivizing the benefits and getting consumers into EVs sooner they wish to tax them for choosing the environmentally friendly option.
What would be smarter is to provide incentives that assist consumers to make a better choice. Australian Capital Territory (ACT), the home of the Federal Government has recently introduced incentives for the improved uptake of Electric vehicles.
The incentives include 2 years of free registration of the vehicle, increased distribution of charging infrastructure, and interest-free loans.
These incentives are part of a greater view that electrification is the next step in transportation.
I recently wrote about Springfield lakes and their plans to create a future city inclusive of electric vehicles, solar and battery storage. This vision is not as easy to execute if the governments of Australia don’t take a leading role in offering support and incentives to allow consumers to be part of the revolutionary change.
In many countries’ incentives have allowed the uptake of electric vehicles, solar and battery storage for those that would normally not be able to afford such a change.
Incentives are a much better way to increase uptake of electric vehicles, grow industries where none where before and have a positive effect on environmental issues.
Australian EV Uptake – Taxes or incentives. The introduction of a Tax is backward, old thinking, and lacks inspiration and foresight. Surprisingly, South Australia is the state to introduce the tax. They are home to one of the largest battery storage facilities in the world. This technology provided by Tesla has proved itself to be a money-spinner from the start and a revolution for the power industry in the state. So, it is surprising that the government has not realized the benefits these technologies can have on everyday lives.
Old thinking that has worked for the last 50 years is slowly dying and the ground on which politicians believe they can build a future is thin as ice.
Electric Vehicle owners and future owners are not the enemy. Most people are happy to pay their rightful amount of Taxes however to isolate EV drivers seems counterintuitive to the need to address climate issues.
SuperChargers, Tesla announced recently that they had reached a milestone of 20000 superchargers across the globe.
This is an amazing feat when you consider that they only started their network around 10 years ago. The supercharging network was a revolution when it was first conceived. It gave Tesla a foot up and a head starts to the evolution of the electric car. Without the Supercharging network, Tesla would not be the powerhouse it is today.
Range anxiety as it has been labeled over the years was a consideration that most would have taken for granted in an ICE car. The proliferation of the petrol station has long since passed and people expect it to be available everywhere without issue.
The supercharger network is attempting to address a similar issue. It has certainly achieved this in the USA. Where this becomes an issue for most Tesla owners outside the USA is in countries that don’t have a large footprint of Tesla uptake.
Let’s take my homeland, Australia. I live in a large city that is sprawling and wide, Brisbane Australia. We are a First World country and have access to all the usual amenities that one would expect. We have had a slow uptake of electric vehicles and lag about 5 years behind if not more than the rest of the world when it comes to infrastructure and purchasing.
The main reason for the slow up take includes,
Poor government support for new technology
Little or no incentives
Poor infrastructure within urban areas.
No national emissions target.
Government proposing taxes on EV’s
The supercharging network is dedicated to Tesla but Elon has mentioned in the past that he is open to the idea that other manufacturers can utilize the supercharging network. This may be a best-case scenario, however other companies like Tritium (Australian Owned) and Charge fox, RACQ, and others have attempted to fill the void.
Their infrastructure has been due to demand from the uptake of electric vehicles and understanding that the world is shifting to renewables and sustainability, this includes electric vehicles.
This last year Tesla increased its purchases across the globe and in Australia, the sales went up by a significant magnitude.
So why do we lag behind with the deployment of Superchargers. Obviously, Australia is a small fish and does not seem to be at the forefront of the mind of Tesla and Elon musk when it comes to supportive infrastructure.
If you build it they will come
However, if you build it, they will come. If tesla was going to improve the uptake of vehicles, they need to continue to address the issues that they had in the early days of the USA. Increase the output and distribution of the supercharging network to urban areas. By allowing visibility of the Tesla brand people will start to look at the name and the vehicles and see value where none previously existed.
Superchargers are one part of the puzzle but a big part. In Brisbane, we have 1 supercharger station. This is located in the center of the city. Brisbane covers the same land size as Los Angeles
Currently, in Brisbane, there is one supercharger, In Los Angeles there at 10 – 15. The red icons are the superchargers.
I know tesla is growing at a rate unseen for over 100 years. I am sure the Supercharger network will grow with it but at the moment this is not the case jete in Australia.
Fill the void
On the upside, in any void, someone will fill it. Tritium is making great strides to be that void filling product. Their introduction of superchargers and soon to announce new products only help to address the need. Not only are they versatile as they allow for all-electric cars to charge but they are proactive in looking for new opportunities to make travel less stressful and more of a journey for electric car owners.
Tesla is the gold standard, but tritium and others are making strides to meet them and surpass the expectations.
I look forward to the day that I can own a Tesla, but I also look forward to the day that more people can purchase electric vehicles at a price that grows uptake. If tesla increases the superchargers and other companies like tritium grow the only winner as well as the consumer.
Springfield Lakes the Future City here in Queensland is making steps towards leading towards a world of electrification. They are making renewable cities and moving towards a renewable future.
Tesla‘s mission to transition the world to sustainable energy and transport has inspired others to work towards a renewable future.
The Engie group took advantage of the same thinking in 2018 and worked with the Springfield developers, Ipswich city planners, and government to develop their vision.
It is truly incredible to think that such innovative thinking is happening in Australia and a stone from me. This innovation that Engie is proposing is at the heart of the future view of suburban sprawl into the future.
They believe based upon their website and their vision that electrification is essential to move us into the future. This is inclusive of vehicles, buildings, suburbs, and more.
Innovation at the heart
Innovation can help to drive the research for future products and facilities that make it possible. They have invested in a research and development center to drive this thinking forward.
Recently Engie announced they were now moving towards additional car chargers and hydrogen buses and many more innovations that will improve the ability for residents to transition to a sustainable future.
Amazingly, such innovation exists in the void of government procrastination. Unfortunately, the Australian federal government has dragged its feet. Reliance on fossil fuels needs to be considered yesterday’s technology and it is time to look to the future and renewables.
Inspiration comes in many forms and recently I was inspired by my friend Andrew the Optometrist. He chose to support a future yet to be realized. He was unaware of the electric vehicle market when we spoke last. So when he decided to buy the Tesla Model 3, I was truly impressed.
He had weighed up our discussion, done his own investigation, formed his own thoughts and opinion, and made a choice. If all people whereas measured in their approach, the world would be a better place.
He is looking forward to receiving his car and becoming part of the evolution. He is getting excited to own a car with greater capability and environmental impact than any vehicle he has owned before. I am truly excited for him and look forward to his delivery.
Looking to the future
Andrew the optometrist is an example of what the people of Springfield have to look forward to in the future. The ability to have access to the infrastructure that allows for the uptake of electric vehicles and renewable energy is so important. If the future is to change to renewable energy and reduce the CO2 being pumped into the environment these steps are important.
It is encouraging to see the big companies start to take the lead where the government void exists.
I applaud what Engie and Ipswich are doing to bring Springfield lakes into the future and set the example for the rest of Australia and the world to follow.
Tesla Full self-driving Beta!!!, It has been once again been an amazing week for tesla. They have outlined a fantastic quarter for Q3 with record profits of 8.7 Billion dollars with an end of the quarter cash position of 14.5 billion dollars This combined with the current construction of Giga factory, Berlin, and Shanghai and Tera Factory Austin underway helps to solidify the positive outlook for the future of the company.
Kudos have to go out to John from “Tesla Owners Silicon Valley” and Raj from “TeslaRaj“ who had the most amazing video showing their first reactions to driving in John’s Model X.
The video was done late at night after the update. The camera angle showed both John and Raj as the car started to drive and navigate itself on the road.
Both were totally blown away with the quality of the BETA and its ability to see around the vehicle and display that on the screen whilst also bringing the real world into view for the cars’ computer vision.
Raj also released another video with more detail the following day during day light house.
Elon recently explained that the release of the FSD Beta is unique in that it did not need the car to be connected to the internet for the FSD to work. Due to the use of the Cameras and sensors around the car once the car had the software it should have the capability to drive itself using the FSD functionality.
This is a very different approach to other full self-driving technology which focuses on high-density mapping, GPS, and other technologies. Tesla has prided itself on using a vision system to manage the complexity of the Full Self Driving development with their camera first approach.
This approach combined with the rewrite that has been designed to use video rather than still images has made an exponential leap forward with the quality and accuracy of the beta that is currently being tested.
John (Tesla Owners Silicon Valley) and Raj (Tesla RAJ) released several videos over the last couple of days showing different cases where the FSD performed exceptionally well.
One particular area of interest for Australians include roundabouts. They demonstrated that the system was able to negotiate the roundabout extremely well.
Since they posted their original video several other Youtube videos have surfaced. Tesla understands the best testers of their systems are the people who drive their cars every day. This use of Beta testing will assist with narrowing down the unusual edge cases that exist to make the system even that more refined.
Challenge Status Quo
I am a little old school when it comes to driving and I enjoy the driving experience. Ownership of a Tesla currently alludes me however I have aspirations to own one someday. I understand why many will find this type of technology confronting as it is challenging the status quo. I for one would enjoy testing this so it becomes the norm into the future.
TESLA Full Self Driving BETA!!!!! Technology is proving that it can do many things with greater efficiency and quality, however, there is always a human element that technology has yet to conquer.
Australian Tesla Prices Drop, however there is still a long way to go.
This week has been a busy week for Tesla. It has also been a fun time for those in the EV community who follow Tesla closely.
A couple of weeks ago I posted a blog talking about “Out of Balance”, in this blog I talked about how I had caught up with a friend who had limited knowledge of the benefits and differences between Internal Combustion Engine(ICE) and Electric Vehicles(EV). We spoke about the vehicles and I gave a balanced view of the EV’s including Tesla’s.
Planted a seed
What I hadn’t realized is that I had planted a seed that had grown over the last couple of weeks. This week I received a surprise that has made me smile. I received a call from my friend Andrew the Optometrist, he said to me “I did something a little crazy this week. “I bought a Model 3.”
To say I was super excited for him and his family is an understatement. I am passionate about Tesla and the EV community and another person to join the fold is just great news. To have someone who you know and have helped to see the electric vehicle in a different light just makes me warm to the soul.
He was very excited about the purchase. He and his family had, since we spoke, looked around at both ICE Vehicles and Electric Vehicles. The decided to take the Model 3 for a Test drive. He said that was the clincher. His wife and kids were sold, and they all fell in love with the Model 3.
Of course, as anybody in the EV community knows, the Test drive cannot be explained it has to be experienced.
They ordered the Black Standard Range Model 3 not long after the Test drive. He explained they liked the black because they have had black cars for years and liked the look. His kids were super excited and they love the idea of putting their bags in the frunk.
It was an incredible feeling to know before this he had not considered an electric vehicle as being an option and after our conversation, he seriously considered it.
Of course, that is not where the week ended.
Rumours had started to float around over the last couple of weeks that a refresh of the Model 3 was upon us. Images of the cars missing chrome trim and a new console had started to surface thanks to Whole Mars Blog, however there had been no official word from Tesla.
Well on Friday afternoon Australian time we understood why they had not said anything. Unannounced, the Tesla website changed.
What a dramatic change it was, not only did it introduce the new console, but it also changed prices in some impressive ways.
Elon announced earlier in the week that the cost of the Model S would be reduced to USD $69420. These numbers seem random but trust me if you have been a tesla fanboy for a while, they make perfect sense.
Any way it was in response to Lucid air releasing their price for the latest vehicle.
This again was a surprise and many people jumped onto this price as it was a good many thousands of dollars savings.
But Elon and tesla were not done there. On Friday afternoon, Australian time, we understood why they had not said anything about the Model 3 changes, Australian Tesla prices drop. Unannounced, the Tesla website changed.
What a dramatic change it was, not only did it introduce the new console that had been rumored it also changed prices in some impressive ways.
On entering the Website, you are presented with the new look Tesla Model 3 Performance with the Uber Turbine Wheels.
Once you then go to the Order page for the Model 3 there are differences across the whole product line.
The Standard Range Aero wheels have been updated which gives the Model 3 a new and sportier look. Included with this refresh is the power trunk, increased range and of course the decrease in price of almost $8000 dollars depending on which state you order from in Australia. With the change to the price the standard range no longer incurs the Luxury Car Tax (LCT) that Australia imposes on imported luxury Vehicles.
The long-range again has a new set of Wheels with an update to the 19” sport wheels. They are very similar to the original Wheels however they have a subtle change that whether functional or not may be polarizing. The changes again included the Power trunk, Increased range, and the price difference of $6000, again depending on the state in Australia. LCT will be incurred.
Insert Image – highlighting changes
Performance Model 3
The performance Model 3 introduced the Uber turbine wheels when the model 3 was first introduced to the world it is wonderful to see them back again and introduced to customers. As with the standard range and Long-range Model 3 the performance also includes the power trunk, increased range and a spectacular drop in price of almost $20000 depending again which state you are buying from in Australia.
Insert Image with changes.
Once again Tesla has not disappointed. The new changes to the Model 3 line up were not just restricted to Australia. The range increase is particularly interesting and possibly indicates that the introduction of a heat pump may have occurred for the Model 3 as it did for the Model Y.
It has been and continues to be a wonderful and exciting experience following Tesla as they continue to lead the EV market with innovation, passion, and a mission that inspires many.
Andrew the Optometrist
When I heard the news of the price drop I instantly messaged Andrew the optometrist. His response made me smile” Woooooooooo Hooooooooo”
It turns out he had ordered at the right time. He and his family saved over $8000 dollars in one night thanks to Tesla. The Model 3 they are to get will be better than it was when they ordered.
Australian Tesla Prices Drop and I am glad to help bring electric vehicle knowledge into more people’s lives. It is truly special when that information is used to make informed decisions. I hope Andrew and his family find great joy in the purchase.
Phantom Braking can it be solved? It seems that in recent years the introduction of the intelligent vehicle has been seen as a victory for the motor vehicle industry.
The introduction provides increased safety and awareness for and around the vehicle. Using sensors, cameras and in some cases Radar or LIDAR to map the world around it the car is able to perform with greater accuracy and capability.
The introduction of sensors to vehicles has been reserved for the higher end of the market, up till now. Due to the prices of these components coming down and technology advancing at an exponential rate the sensors are starting to be more present in less expensive models.
Tesla introduced its first iteration of “Autopilot” several years ago. Since its inception and introduction to the family of Tesla vehicles, Autopilot has been applauded for its ability to manage highway driving with little intervention. Many have reported their fondness of the capability and how it makes long road trips more enjoyable.
As a result of the new capabilities, Tesla has been proud to show that its vehicles with the use of Autopilot have increased the distance collectively between accidents. This fact highlights the increased safety aspects which have been introduced.
However, since the introduction of the self-driving capabilities the issue of Phantom Braking has in parallel been increasing.
Phantom braking occurs when a vehicle being managed by Artificial Intelligence, or autopilot in Tesla’s case, suddenly and abruptly decelerates. This sudden loss in acceleration is unexplained and inconsistent in most cases.
As you probably have determined this puts the driver and passengers in danger including the vehicles around it. The vehicles travelling behind suddenly have to contend with an unexpected slowing of the vehicle in front. These usually occur when the vehicle is travelling at speed. This increases the chances of accidents and injury.
Online there are numerous on social media that state the cause of accidents seems to be attributed to the phantom braking phenomenon.
In the case of Tesla, and if Phantom braking can it be solved, it would seem this is an active problem they are attempting to solve. This week there has been a discussion on twitter regarding this very thing. Elon tweeted regarding the introduction of the new build Full Self Driving (FSD). He was responding to a tweet discussing the WAYMO approach. He mentioned that it would be beta released in a number of weeks.
Elon was kind enough to respond to me on twitter at EV-HQ.com by stating “It should be” he then followed up with some clarification
It is encouraging to see that Tesla is actively working to resolve issues like Phantom braking. What’s important is they are not just waiting for big releases like FSD. It makes sense considering not every driver has FSD as it is an opt-in function.
It would also seem that Elon understands the issues of his company and is actively working to resolve them. His engagement with twitter followers shows he is kind enough to respond to people asking about the latest information.
This twitter response gained momentum over the next couple of days which just highlights the importance this issue has for people.
Phantom braking can it be solved? It would seem that the release of the upcoming software updates that drop regularly has bug fixes to address the phantom braking. The latest release may have some of those fixes but there are still reports that it is occurring.
Let’s hope that phantom braking will become a thing of the past. Let’s hope that the use of “First Principles” can assist to find a solution to the immediate and long-term problem.
Safety has always been at the heart of the Tesla Vehicles. Elon Musk has been very clear on this point. It is up to the manufacturers to make sure that the occupants of their vehicles remain safe and sound for their journey.
It is refreshing to see that Tesla is working to find solutions. Tesla is actively trying to find solutions to issues that have been created by the introduction of information technology devices.
The best advice you can hear if you love your tesla but feel unsure about the use of the autopilot system is to drive the car yourself. enjoy the experience without the use of autopilot or FSD. The cars are incredible to experience and fun to drive.
Tesla week in review post the highs of battery day, Tesla delivered a number of interesting additions to the Tesla almanac. History may judge this to be another step towards Tesla’s ultimate goal of transition to sustainable energy and transport.
A word on Tesla and the future of the Company.
Last week saw one of the most significant steps forward for Tesla and the development of their battery technology. The new and innovative thinking demonstrated by Tesla and their team regarding the use of first principles to rethink the functions of the battery, truly set up Tesla to move into a confident position.
Sandy Munro from Munro & Associates Inc., by his own admission seen thousands of vehicles over his life time and because of this has a unique perspective on the construction, manufacturing and innovation of vehicles.
Munro’s perspective on the battery day and his support for Tesla, is one out of respect for innovative products and support for the companies Goals. His perspective on the Tesla innovations highlighted the fact that Tesla is heading in a direction well ahead of any competition. He is able to provide insights to the technical aspects of the innovations.
The market for Tesla shares after the battery day presentation went down. Analyst thought that Tesla would announce a cheaper vehicle that would be available in the short term. Tesla did in fact announce a new cheaper vehicle which would not be available for several years.
What it does suggest is that analysts don’t have a full understanding of the technology and how to classify tesla as a company. They believe that because Tesla have not produced an affordable vehicle with the battery technology available to use now that the value of the company does not meet their predictions.
Tesla has always highlighted the fact that they are not just a car company or an energy company but a tech company. This difference has been a challenge for analysts as they still continue to place Tesla in the car company field.
China Model 3
This Tesla week in review also saw the introduction to the Made-In-China (MIC) Model 3 LFP or lithium ion battery technology provided by CATL.
“Tesla’s new powertrains are expected to include a cobalt-free lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery made by Ningde, Fujian-based Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd.,” Bloomberg News. 1 October 2020, 11:46 am AEST Updated on 1 October 2020, 5:24 pm AEST
This innovation has been met with great excitement by the Chinese. There has been an increase in orders. In conjunction with the new battery technology there has been a price reduction and a significant range increase. The price reduction may have been expected but the range increase was something no one had expected.
The Model 3 range went from 455km to 468kms. With any electric car, range is important and an increase is always welcome. This is helping to drive sales and improve customer experience.
Here in Australia we still have to contend with significantly high prices.
Taxes on imports
Luxury car tax
Lack of manufacturing competition
These have significant impacts on price and ability for the average Australian to enter the electric car market.
With the introduction of the new Model 3 to the Chinese market, there is an opportunity for Australians and those in the southern hemisphere, to have greater access to a more affordable Tesla.
Recently there was a rumor that deliveries from Giga Shanghai to countries like Australia would provide a more affordable Model 3. As shown this week with the introduction of the new Model 3 to the Chinese market this rumour may have some foundation.
A recent article from Tesmanian outlined the increase in shifts within the Giga Shanghai factory. This might indicate a lift in production numbers and possibly an opportunity to export model 3’s to other countries like Australia.
The Model 3 range of 468kms is comparable to current petrol cars of the same size and dimensions that are sold in Australia. With the added benefit of no petrol and reduced rates for electricity, this would make the vehicle quite competitive and compelling.
Battery Day – Tesla, if anyone had any doubt that Tesla is going to be the leader heading into the future of the electric car and power management this week solidified their position.
It is truly incredible the innovation that Tesla continues to deliver. The team at Tesla reviews a part of the market that has been devoid of innovation, they turn it on its head with first principal thinking.
Battery day – Tesla was presented online and a number of lucky investors and followers of Tesla were in attendance and the unique way they socially distanced was very cool.
Elon has spoken a number of times regarding the first principle thinking to reframe a question regarding a current problem.
“The first principle” was conceived by Aristotle to rethink an already existing process and find another way to achieve a better outcome.
First principle thinking guided Tesla to reimagine a better battery for the future of the company.
They broke down the detail into 5 complete sections
Cell Vehicle Integration
Tesla is turning the cell design on its head. They thought long and hard about the fundamentals of what constitutes the cell. The team at Tesla looked at the main features of current cells looking for opportunities to increase energy storage and output.
The introduction of the tabless 4680 cell made of silicon whilst limiting the use of cobalt has led them to achieve an innovative approach. With these changes it can increase the cells range by 16%. This range extension is truly incredible and critical to the uptake of EV’s as we move into the next couple of years.
One of the most surprising elements regarding the cell announcement pertains to the fact that a pilot factory already exists. The fact that cells are already being produced would suggest that this is not just a theory but a revolution and real.
Taking inspiration from printing and bottling factories of yesteryear where the production line does not slow down during the whole process, Tesla has implemented a similar process that allows the cells production to increase accordingly.
Within the production of the cells there are 4 main steps
Major efficiencies can be found within the process of manufacturing battery cells as opposed to the traditional processes.
The use of a “High-Speed Continuous” motion allows for a smaller footprint within factories producing more cells per hour allowing an increase in efficiencies with manufacturing and could produce a 7x improvement with possiblility 10x improvement over time.
Tesla last year purchased Maxwell which had a process for converting dry powder materials and applying that as a film onto the separator in the jelly roll of the battery. Elon explained that since this purchase, they have iterated on the process 4 times and believe that they will achieve greater efficiency by about the sixth iteration. This advancement removes the need for a wet process and thus reduces the size of the factory required exponentially.
These improvements are revolutionary to the production of cells. Once again first principles has delivered a new perspective.
Most companies rely on old solutions where as Tesla as confirmed by Elon will continue to innovate and push the boundaries of what is possible.
Currently Tesla refers to the factories as Gigafactories. As they move forward and transition to the new cell form factor the factories will be referred to Terafactories.
Silicon is considered a fundamental element used in most batteries. Once again Tesla has had to go back to fundamentals and find a way to improve the process of creating better density and usage of the batteries.
When a battery is charged and discharged the movement of lithium across the membrane causes it to crack and become gooey. Overtime this causes the cell to lose the ability to manage the state of charge thus rendering the cell less effective.
Many have tried to rectify this by addressing the symptoms not the cause. The introduction of different binders and support materials have been used to lessen the impact of the heat generated during charging and discharging. This has been met with varying results.
Tesla is attempting to look at the fundamentals of what makes up the anode of the battery and see if they can eliminate cobalt whilst using Silicon in a different way. Raw silicon has been proposed as a possible solution to help with the expansion issue when charged and discharged.
Raw material silicon,
stabilize surface through elastic, non-conducting polymer coasting,
robust network – highly elastic binder and electrode design.
By implementing the above changes to the cell It has been shown to provide a 20% increase in range for vehicles.
A 20% increase in cell range is groundbreaking when dealing with electric vehicles. Distance is king in many cases and this could help to achieve this greater range for the same price. Or alternatively it could mean less cells with same range reducing costs.
A cathode provides structure to the management of lithium ions within the battery cell. Tesla has been experimenting with different cathode types that would allow cells to be more environmentally friendly and increase recyclability.
In the course of their investigations they believe a diverse range of materials will be utilised for different purposes. Tesla will implement different material across their product line to address cost, density and output.
Iron – Low level use
Nickel Manganese – medium level use
High Nickel – used for Long range – Cyber truck and semi
The use of nickel as a main component gives the best dollar per kwh and wh/kg. This combined with removing the cobalt has a number of positive effects
Reduces complexity of the materials
Continues to address the human rights issues with mining
Has a good structure to hold the lithium
Reduction in costs of $/kwh
Again the returned to first principles regarding the manufacturing of the cathode. This lead to an improvement in battery production and thus a cumulative effect upon the percentile shift of costs in the downward trend.
Further to this, lithium is a highly abundant material and is available within many and varied locations. It seems that the collection and processing of the material is able to be achieved within in the USA.
Mining lithium is important way forward for cell production and Tesla has found a way to extract it from clay with the use of Nacl (Salt). The outcome of this leads to highly recyclable cells and materials, that can be easily reconstructed into new cells. This leads to some impressive cost savings.
Cell vehicle production
Elon announced a change to the fundamental design of the Tesla vehicles.
He was inspired by the airline industries innovation when they created a fuel tank as part of the wing which improved capacity and reduced weight. By changing the way the vehicles are constructed to achieve a similar concept Tesla’s vehicles have also had similar outcomes.
This one design change is said to lead to;
10 % in weight reduction
14% range increase opportunity
370 fewer parts
Tesla has shown that it can innovate in areas that most car companies take for granted and follow a standard view of the processes. Tesla chooses to look at the fundamentals and innovate using the first principles thinking regarding anything from the car to the power train to the battery cells and beyond.
The above innovations with cell production, cell development, anode, cathode and vehicle design allow for changes and efficiencies in their own right, but the cumulative effect it has upon the overall price and production helps to drive prices down , safety up and more people in cars everywhere.
This is a monumental step in regard to Tesla’s value as a company and value of the individual vehicles. The impact it will have on the tesla solar and battery storage costs moving into the future will be profound.
Elon highlighted that the realization of this technology will not occur for 1-3 years but the ability to own a tesla in the coming years with a price that is reasonable is extremely exciting.
54% Range increase
56% S/KWH reduction
69% Investment per GWH reduction.
What does this mean for Australia?
I have watched a number of Tesla presentations over the years and this presentation was the most exciting for a number of reasons.
In Australia the prices of tesla vehicle is quite significant for the average person. With a starting price of $74000 a lot of people find this price out of reach.
If Tesla was able to maximise on the 56% reduction in dollars per KWH then the possibility exists that in the future Tesla’s could be priced around $40000 – $ 50000. If this was to transpire then more Australians would be in a position to consider their next car to be electric.
If the new 4680 battery cell is adapted to the home power storage solutions it could assist Australians to increase their ability to maximise their solar panel efficiencies whilst also reducing the cost of electric and charging electric vehicle.
If this is the future in 1-3 years, then I am on board and I would encourage all Australians to investigate electric products.
One more thing….
It would not be a Tesla event if there wasn’t something unexpected. Tesla announced a possibility of a new, smaller sedan with a price range of around $25000 USD.
The Plaid Model S
The Plaid Model S, which has been seen on the Nürburgring, with a tri motor specifications and a 0-60 mph time of 2.1 seconds is now available to be purchased online. this impressive vehicle has a starting price in Australia of $189000.
Battery Day – Tesla has shown what it is capable of and sets a high standard for all to follow. Tesla’s mission will improve the environment and accelerate the transition to a sustainable future. The information provided by Tesla has great potential to realise the possibilities.
Tesla’s philosophy of using first principles to reimagine what battery technologies can be will have positive impacts on the environment for years to come. It’s ability to continually innovate and move their mission forward is inspiring.