The growing appetite for electric cars has created a new technology arms race. Vehicle makers like Tesla Inc. and General Motors Co. and their suppliers are on the hunt for batteries that are better and cheaper. Here is what you need to know:
What should you expect from Tesla’s so-called Battery Day?
Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk for months has been promising to host the event, which was delayed by the pandemic and now is set to kick off Sept. 22 in conjunction with Tesla’s annual shareholder meeting. He has dropped several hints in recent months about what is on his mind.
During the company’s most recent earnings call, he issued a public plea for people to “please mine more nickel,” a key ingredient in cells. “Tesla will give you a giant contract for a long period of time if you mine nickel efficiently and in an environmentally sensitive way,” Mr. Musk added.
Last month, he tweeted about plans for a cell that could store far more energy than current versions. A 400 watt-hours per kilogram battery that could be produced at high volume, he said, “is not far” and attainable in possibly three to four years. That would roughly double today’s energy storage capacity.
Mr. Musk, on the eve of the event, tweeted it would affect long-term production, principally for Tesla’s pickup truck, semi-truck, and roadster sports car. What will be presented, he said, wouldn’t reach serious production levels until 2022.