Issue: Sep 2007


Development of advanced lithium-ion battery packs



by John Larkin

Tesla Motors, a manufacturer of high-performance electric cars, has met the U.N. safety requirements for delivery of the Tesla Roadster's battery pack for use in consumer vehicles. In demonstrating the safety of the large format battery pack, Tesla Motors has achieved another major milestone on the way to commencing deliveries of the 2008 Tesla Roadster to customers this fall. The U.N Testing Protocol for the Roadster's ESS (Energy Storage System) included: (1) Altitude simulation, (2) Thermal cycling, (3) Vibration, (4) Shock, and (5) External short circuit.

The ESS development program, which to date has spanned over three years, has included testing safety at both the micro (cell) and macro
(module) levels. At the cell level, each of the 6,831 individual lithium ion cells inside the Tesla Roadster's ESS has passed both UN and UL 1642 testing criteria. ESS development and testing was performed by the Tesla Energy Group within Tesla Motors. The advanced technologies developed over the last three years have positioned the Tesla Energy Group to develop and manufacture battery packs for third parties.

"In bringing an entirely new type of electric vehicle to market, we have focused closely on safety as one of the primary considerations in the design process," said Martin Eberhard, CEO of Tesla Motors. "Rigorous testing by third party experts and regulatory bodies has provided Tesla Motors with invaluable technical feedback and a system of independent checks and balances. This exhaustive process has helped to ensure that the Roadster's ESS has been critically examined both by our own engineers, as well as by objective experts outside of Tesla's development team. As we begin final preparations for starting production of the 2008 Tesla Roadster, this milestone represents the culmination of many years of innovation, development, and progress in making safe and reliable electric vehicles that can replace gasoline engine cars. The purely electric car that was once dismissed as a vision of a distant future has now become a reality that drivers can expect to see on the road in the coming months."

Tesla Energy Group was formed in December of 2006 to develop and market custom designed battery packs for customers in a wide range of industries, utilizing Tesla's patent pending technology for the development of high-power, high-capacity battery packs with superior performance and safety characteristics. Tesla Motors created Tesla Energy Group in response to demand from outside companies for advanced lithium-ion battery pack technology for automotive and other industrial use. Since its founding in 2003, Tesla Motors has developed patent pending technology for the design and manufacture of high-power, high-capacity lithium-ion battery packs with superior performance and safety characteristics for use in its groundbreaking Tesla Roadster high-performance electric car. The primary focus of Tesla Energy Group remains the development and mass production of battery packs for the Tesla Roadster, to be released later this Fall. The increased economies of scale and additional sources of revenue will benefit Tesla Motors by generating incremental operating income while accelerating its lead in the development of advanced lithium-ion battery packs.



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