Teslas Newest Promises Break the Laws of Batteries
Elon Musk knows how to attain promises. Even by his own standards, the promises built last week while introducing two new Tesla vehicles–the heavy-duty Semi Truck and the speedy Roadster–are monuments of envelope pushing. To deliver, according to close observers of battery technology, Tesla would have to far outstrip what is currently supposed possible.
Take the Tesla Semi: Musk vowed it would haul an unprecedented 80,000 pounds for 500 miles on a single charge, then recharge 400 miles of range in 30 minutes. That would require, based on Bloomberg estimates, a charging system that’s 10 times more powerful than one of the fastest battery-charging networks on the road today–Tesla’s own Superchargers.
The diminutive Tesla Roadster is promised to be the quickest production auto ever constructed. But that achievement would entail squeezing into its tiny frame a battery twice as powerful as the largest battery currently available in an electric car.
These asserts are so far beyond current industry standards for electric vehicles that they would require either advances in battery technology or a new understanding of how batteries are put to use, told Sam Jaffe, battery analyst for Cairn Energy Research in Boulder, Colorado. In some examples, experts suspect Tesla might be banking on technological improvements between now and the time when new vehicles are actually ready for delivery.
” I don’t think they’re lying ,” Jaffe said.” I just think they left something out of the public reveal that would have explained how these numbers work .”
Here are four of Tesla’s most provocative battery claims–and an attempt to puzzle out how they might be achieved.