Tesla has been preparing for a “battery and powertrain investor day,” which had been planned for this month. But with the world shut down due to coronavirus, company plans have changed.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said tonight that battery day is “most likely postponed to mid May” — though it’s also “hard to predict dates right now.”
Tesla has had a similar event for autonomous driving, and that event was quite elucidating.
At that event, Tesla ran through some very technical demonstrations of how their autonomous driving systems work and what was planned for the future. Many viewers and attendees came away from the event bolstered about Tesla’s Autopilot plans, and perhaps a little more trustful of the system.
Battery day will consist of a similar presentation on Tesla’s battery technology and their road map of how they plan to meet their goals for the future. When Musk first spoke about the plan for battery day almost a year ago, he said:
Yes, I think for battery day, we’re going to do a comprehensive review of cell chemistry, module and pack, architecture, and manufacturing plan that has a clear road map to a terawatt-hour per year. The time for this will probably is about six months, like maybe February or March next year show-and-tell.
That was the original timeline, which was later pushed to April. So we’ve missed that by a bit, but that’s understandable, given the world climate right now. Tesla was also planning an “April company talk” in Buffalo, but we haven’t heard any more about that either, what with current shutdowns both in California, where Tesla’s headquarters are, and in New York.
Since then, we’ve heard more about Tesla’s battery plans. In February we reported on Tesla’s “Roadrunner” battery project, which they hope will get them down to a cost of $100/kWh, which has been the target of EV makers for years.
And other companies have had similar events lately. GM recently had an “EV Day” that we attended, and they focused a lot on their “Ultium” battery system. They’re targeting $100/kWh on a cell level with their battery technology.
We wouldn’t count on mid-May as an absolute certainty, though. Currently, the San Francisco Bay Area plans to loosen their stay-home orders in early May, and Tesla is planning to get back to production by May 4.
But those are just the current plans. Things could change, and the stay-home order could be extended beyond that timeline. If that happens, we don’t know if Tesla would go through with an online-only event or push the event back further. As Musk says, it’s “hard to predict dates right now.”
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