【Ferro-alloys.com】Elon Musk says Tesla is working on a manganese battery cell. There were many people at Giga Berlin were there was a celebration for the first 30 Model Y vehicles being handed over to the new owners. At the fellowship with the employees, he made an important announcement about a future Tesla battery.
Elon Musk announced yesterday that Tesla sees potential with battery chemistry with a manganese cathode. Elon Musk said the industry needs to focus more on the battery supply chain and the minerals involved.
During a speech to Tesla Giga Berlin, following the delivery of the first 30 Model Y vehicles, Elon Musk was asked about graphite batteries. Elon Musk said he was skeptical due to the complexity of making graphite.
Elon Musk said that Tesla was working on making batteries out of more materials. Because you cannot have enough batteries right now due to the scarcity of batteries needed for electric vehicles. Tesla will focus on nickel based chemistries for long range vehicles and iron chemistries for short/standard range vehicles.
The Potential for Manganese
Elon Musk said there is an interesting potential for manganese. This means that Tesla is already doing some research and exploring using manganese in its battery cells for a while. If you remember at battery day in 2020, it is relatively straightforward to do a cathode that is 2/3 nickel and 1/3 manganese, allowing for an increased volume of battery production due to not having to use as much nickel
It makes it sound like manganese could be an additional solution to battery production. We may ultimately need hundreds of tons of manganese and other raw materials in order to get the amount of batteries needed for the current and future demand of EVs and energy storage.
Several groups have published research papers on the promising options of manganese rich cathode batteries with higher energy density than iron phosphate and potentially a lower price than nickel rich batteries. Manganese is already used by Tesla in some battery chemistries, but it's not the primary component of any of them.
Tesla has used a manganese chemistry for its PowerWall before. Elon Musk reiterated that a focus on battery supplies is needed for sustainable transport and sustainable energy. Elon Musk said the world will need about 300 terra-watt hours of battery production to supply sustainable energy to the world. That's a LOT of energy!
Many other companies have touted billions of dollars of investments in electric vehicle technologies. Without an investment in raw materials and battery production, those companies will not be able to reach volume production and meet the demand of customers for the future.