Will Tesla’s Maxwell Technologies Acquisition Improve Charging Speed?

Will Tesla's Maxwell Technologies Acquisition Improve Charging Speed?


Published on July 28th, 2019 |
by Daryl Elliott

July 28th, 2019 by Daryl Elliott 

Maxwell Technologies Product Range

Does anyone from the public really know? This article explores one possible outcome.

In Matt Ferrell’s Tesla and Maxwell Technologies video, he includes a recent quote from Elon Musk: “I mean, you’re really asking some super secret sauce questions [about the future of the Tesla batteries] here. Yeah, I think we’ll have — I think we’ll probably have an Investor Day, like we have an Autonomy Day, maybe later this year or early next just to go over the cell and battery technology and future strategy. And I think that will be very informative, but we do recognize the criticality of this.”

How much secret sauce is there, and how far will it advance electric vehicle battery technology? The following is a possible scenario. The key basic point of this possibility is that supercaps can be charged incredibly fast, and can discharge fast or slowly.

Picture this:

1. A Tesla vehicle is charged at a version 3 Supercharger.

2. The Tesla has both supercapacitors (supercaps) and regular batteries onboard. It is a hybrid of two electric vehicle energy storage types. There may have to be more than one supercap since two functions are required from the supercaps at one time (more on that in item #6).

3. The charge only goes into the supercap(s) because supercaps can receive the charge incredibly quickly.

4. The driver drives off after a 5 minute charge (or quicker) that fully charges the supercaps.

5. If this scenario were to come to pass, the gas/diesel refueling time would have been met or bettered by an EV for the first time ever.

6. The supercaps are used for driving power for the next 15+ minutes while the supercaps are simultaneously charging the regular (2170) batteries inside the car while the car is moving. After that time, the car is powered by the regular batteries while the charging continues from the supercaps to the regular battery packs.

7. In however long it takes to fully charge the regular batteries, say 45 minutes, the regular batteries are fully charged so the Tesla vehicle can now drive for 300+ more miles (483 km), and the supercaps also still have some charge remaining (for quick accelerations if needed).

This speculative scenario might be one big reason why Tesla bought Maxwell Technologies. Or it might not.

Related: “Interview With Maxwell Technologies: Ultracapacitor-based Energy Storage System” (2013).

Later in Matt Ferrell’s video, Elon discusses one very big technology change that involves the Maxwell tech: “The new battery pack, that will probably go into production next year, is designed specifically for a million miles of operation.” That certainly indicates a significantly different and improved pack. However, beyond this note, we don’t have clear insight into what is changing.

What are your thoughts? Do you think it’s possible? Comment below what you think about this scenario.



Tags: 2020 Tesla Roadster, Elon Musk, Maxwell Technologies, Superfast charging, superfast EV charging, Tesla, Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model S, Tesla Model X, Tesla Roadster, Tesla Supercharging

About the Author

Daryl Elliott Proponent of solar, wind, EVs, veganism, democracy, and all things environmental and progressive. Writer. Go green.

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