Saturday, 23 February, 2019

Tesla plans to buy Maxwell Technologies for $218 million

Tesla to Acquire Maxwell Technologies for $218 Million Tesla buys battery tech company Maxwell Technologies
Priscilla Morrison | 05 February, 2019, 16:24

The purchase - expected to close later this year - will give Tesla more access to building cells, battery systems, and modules for its battery-powered vehicles, and energy supplies.

On Monday, Musk took a huge gamble to make the big leap forward that will see supercaps replace batteries in future EVs.

Tesla Inc has agreed to buy energy storage company Maxwell Technologies Inc for $218 million in an all-stock deal that could help the electric auto maker produce batteries that hold more energy and last longer at a time when it needs to cut costs and faces growing competition.

"We're always looking for potential acquisitions that make sense for the business and support Tesla's mission to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy", the spokesperson said. Tesla isn't known for aggressive acquisitions, and the fact they paid a decent price for the company suggests that Musk has faith in Maxwells recent claims of developing ultracapacitors. Panasonic Corporation of Japan is the exclusive lithium ion battery supplier for Tesla sedans.

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Maxwell also counts General Motors as a customer. Where a supercapacitor can be used to weld metal by simply shorting the terminals (don't do that, by the way), battery technology hasn't yet caught up.

Combined with the energy of batteries, ultracapacitors can enable rapid response times, extend operational temperature range and lengthen battery life by up to two times, according to a Maxwell Technologies.

Aside from producing electric cars, Tesla also sells power storage as part of its solar power business. The only problem with supercaps is they can hold a tiny electric charge, and this for only a few minutes. "Real competitors are coming now, so Tesla needs to move fast". Musk has spoken about his interest in the technology application in EVs and that they could be a better breakthrough in technology than batteries. "But we need a breakthrough in energy density".

The company says that Maxwell's dry electrode technology - used to make the ultracapacitors - which can be applied to batteries of varying chemistries, boosts performance and is more cost-effective than the more commonly used wet electrode technology.

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