Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Tesla Electric Motors Boosts It's Roadster’s Existing Cell Battery and Wheel Aerodynamics Technology

Part of the Roadster’s range boost will come from using tires with less rolling resistance and from making modifications to the car’s body that improve its aerodynamics.

But the biggest improvement comes from increasing the energy density of the battery pack. Each pack contains thousands of cylindrical battery cells that look similar to AA batteries. “Cell technology has improved substantially” since Tesla designed the Roadster, the company said in its announcement. For the upgrade it will replace the original cells with new ones that store 31 percent more energy.

Though Tesla isn’t explaining in detail how it achieved the increase in energy storage, it was likely made via incremental improvements to existing battery technology, not through major breakthroughs in battery materials, says Jeff Dahn, a professor of physics and chemistry at Dalhousie University. He analyzed cells made by Panasonic, Tesla’s cell supplier, and found several small changes that might account for a 30 percent increase. For example, Panasonic has done away with some bulky plastic packaging material that had been wasting space inside the cells. He says Tesla’s battery pack could also accommodate slightly larger cells that store more energy.""

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