Tesla to buy maxwell tech for 219m

garsh

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Maxwell Technologies Announces Definitive Merger Agreement with Tesla, Inc.

Maxwell is a global leader in the development and manufacture of innovative, cost-effective energy and power delivery solutions. We have developed and transformed our patented, proprietary and fundamental dry electrode manufacturing technology that we have historically used to make ultracapacitors to create a breakthrough technology that can be applied to the manufacturing of batteries. Our ultracapacitor products provide safe and reliable power solutions for applications in consumer and industrial electronics, transportation, renewable energy and information technology.

Sounds like the coveted "solid-state" battery technology that everybody has been talking about for the past few years.
 

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Maxwell Technologies Announces Definitive Merger Agreement with Tesla, Inc.

Maxwell is a global leader in the development and manufacture of innovative, cost-effective energy and power delivery solutions. We have developed and transformed our patented, proprietary and fundamental dry electrode manufacturing technology that we have historically used to make ultracapacitors to create a breakthrough technology that can be applied to the manufacturing of batteries. Our ultracapacitor products provide safe and reliable power solutions for applications in consumer and industrial electronics, transportation, renewable energy and information technology.

Sounds like the coveted "solid-state" battery technology that everybody has been talking about for the past few years.
This is super exciting
 

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Agreed. This is major news. Considering that Tesla hasn't invested in any other battery startup to date, this acquisition seems to indicate that Maxwell already has some technology that Tesla covets that cannot be viably replicated in-house. Witness Tesla's previous acquisitions of Grohmann and Perbix for their automated manufacturing equipment know-how. I can't see Tesla investing in some pie-in-the-sky battery technology as Dyson had done with Sakti3. Recall Elon's challenge to bring him a working cell rather than a Powerpoint presentation.
 
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How would the competition catch up if most of them don’t even make their own batteries? This must be the breakthrough technology that takes Tesla to the next level.

So we know that the 2021 Roadster will have at least 621 miles of range, which is extraordinary. I’m wondering how long it would take to charge to 80% at home and at the SCv3.
 

garsh

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How would the competition catch up if most of them don’t even make their own batteries?
They'll need to partner with a battery manufacturer, much like Tesla partners with Panasonic. But I don't know if any of them yet have the foresight to create such a large factory. They're all falling behind, and it will take a while for them to catch up.
This must be the breakthrough technology that takes Tesla to the next level.
Lots of other companies are researching solid state batteries. Hopefully several of them are successful in addition to Tesla/Maxwell. Technological progress and competition is good. :)
Tesla is just the first car manufacturer I've heard of that decided to actually buy one of these companies rather than invest in one.

Hyundai Investing In US Solid-State Battery Company
VW Invests $100M in QuantumScape, a Battery-Building Unicorn

Who Will Win the Race for an EV Solid-State Battery?

Top firms involved in such R&D include Toyota, BMW, Volkswagen, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, and Hyundai. Toyota, with a strong solid-state development history and 200+ engineers working on solid-state battery technology, is considered a leader here.
 

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All it would take for Tesla to do this is one claim in one patent that Maxwell may hold. It could be something relevant to current batteries, not just the "dry" sort, aka capacitive. Li-ion cells are kinda like electrolytic capacitors, really — wet capacitors. It could be a patent they wish to practice, or just to hold for defensive purposes, or use as a bargaining chip. Patent warfare can get weird. Every company working on this technology will have a bunch of patents; the patent office hands them out like candy. Actually producing a cell may unavoidably infringe, so you need a good portfolio at the bargaining table to straighten out the mess on favorable terms.

(I saw this close-up in the aircraft engine business, after Pratt & Whitney finally made a stink about GE infringing their clearance control patent. The only way out of all the other infringement claims that ensued was a big cross-licensing agreement.)

But I wonder if Musk finds the name "Maxwell" appealing: In electromagnetism, nothing is bigger than Maxwell's Equations.

Tesla. Maxwell. Edison. How about Ampère? Voltaire, Coulomb, Henry, Faraday? Collect them all! I wish someone would name their car Henry.
 

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They'll need to partner with a battery manufacturer, much like Tesla partners with Panasonic. But I don't know if any of them yet have the foresight to create such a large factory. They're all falling behind, and it will take a while for them to catch up.

Lots of other companies are researching solid state batteries. Hopefully several of them are successful in addition to Tesla/Maxwell. Technological progress and competition is good. :)
Tesla is just the first car manufacturer I've heard of that decided to actually buy one of these companies rather than invest in one.

Hyundai Investing In US Solid-State Battery Company
VW Invests $100M in QuantumScape, a Battery-Building Unicorn

Who Will Win the Race for an EV Solid-State Battery?

Top firms involved in such R&D include Toyota, BMW, Volkswagen, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, and Hyundai. Toyota, with a strong solid-state development history and 200+ engineers working on solid-state battery technology, is considered a leader here.
VW has let 48 Billion Dollars in battery contracts to 3 of the largest battery manufacturers, probably including some combination of Samsung, SK, LG, Panasonic, CATL, and others. 48 billion dollars is enough for each contractee to build their own gigafactory to supply VW.

If Tesla finally forces other car makers to build EVs by the millions, then that's a win for Tesla's mission of accelerating the transition to renewable energy/transport.

Maxwell's dry electrode is not a solid state battery. There is still a liquid electrode used in the cell. It's the making of the electrode itself that's dry under their process.

Here is a paper about it:

http://www.powersourcesconference.com/Power Sources 2018 Digest/docs/3-1.pdf
 
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JeffC

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#14
How would the competition catch up if most of them don’t even make their own batteries? This must be the breakthrough technology that takes Tesla to the next level.

So we know that the 2021 Roadster will have at least 621 miles of range, which is extraordinary. I’m wondering how long it would take to charge to 80% at home and at the SCv3.
Tesla is deeply involved in the battery chemistries they use, but they don't make their cells. Panasonic does at the joint venture Gigafactory. Panasonic is strictly responsible for the actual manufacture of the cells. The factory is literally partitioned into Tesla spaces and Panasonic spaces.

There is no single magic bullet for battery technology. Many parallel development paths are very actively being explored today.

Solid state batteries, if they work, would also benefit Tesla. The Braga cell, if it works, can be built on conventional Lithium ion battery production lines, like Panasonic's at Gigafactory (and really any other typical Lithium ion battery factory).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glass_battery

Tesla's commercial advantage comes from rapid innovation, aggressive schedules, outrageous goals, etc.
 
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