What’s so exciting about a battery?
Investors are now speculating that the world’s largest maker of electric vehicles (EV) could unveil their “Million-Mile” battery on Tuesday. This is a monumental development, given that the batteries that are currently in Tesla vehicles has a warranty that lasts 150,000 miles or eight years, whichever comes first.
You would clock up a million miles if you circled the globe 50 times! However, before you get your hopes up over such a feat, although the million-mile battery promises to hold up during the journey, the other parts of the car would likely wear off well before you can conclude such an epic road trip.
Still, EV makers have taken giant strides in bringing down the cost of these batteries, chipping away at the premium over their counterparts with internal combustion engines. Although the battery accounts for roughly about half the total EV’s cost at present, it is expected to make up just 20 percent of the total EVs cost by 2025, according to a BloombergNEF estimates.
The US Department of Energy has also set out a target to ultimately lower the cost of EV batteries down to $80/kWh. Such a benchmark would guide investor expectations on Tuesday, and they’ll be eager to see if Musk could even announce cost parity for its batteries, while gleaming for clues over Tesla’s road map towards incorporating these new batteries into its production vehicles.
Ultimately, any major improvements to this crucial component in electric vehicles could make the cars more affordable, boost the company’s fundamentals, and potentially even whip up more positive sentiment towards Tesla’s stocks.
Musk to markets: Hold your horses
Aware of the risk of misaligned expectations, Musk has already, pre-emptively, poured some cold water on the frothing frenzy.
On the eve of “Battery Day”, he tweeted that whatever Tesla announces on Tuesday “will not reach serious high-volume production until 2022”, while still aiming to ramp up battery cell purchases from its partners such as Panasonic, LG and CATL. He also forecasted “significant shortages” beyond the next two years, unless Tesla also takes action themselves.