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The Promise of Maxwell

Discussion in 'TSLA Investor Discussions' started by ammulder, Jul 7, 2019.

  1. Krugerrand

    Krugerrand Well-Known Member

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    Once again you forgot to quote all of Elon. In particular the part where Elon, JB and the other guy on stage said they’ve got a plan for battery expansion (as they looked at each other with smirks on their faces like they had a really big secret).

    You’re still wrong.
     
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  2. Artful Dodger

    Artful Dodger ♫ sniffin' the mornin' cool ♫

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    Maxwell Technologies, Inc. - Maxwell Technologies Announces Definitive Merger Agreement with Tesla, Inc.

    Press Release | February 04, 2019

    "We are very excited with today's announcement that Tesla has agreed to acquire Maxwell. Tesla is a well-respected and world-class innovator that shares a common goal of building a more sustainable future," said Dr. Franz Fink, President and Chief Executive Officer of Maxwell. "We believe this transaction is in the best interests of Maxwell stockholders and offers investors the opportunity to participate in Tesla's mission of accelerating the advent of sustainable transport and energy."​

    Yes, Maxwell's Board gets (got) it. They're excited to be a part of this plan. ICE-Busters!

    Cheers!
     
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  3. Brando

    Brando Active Member

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  4. dfwatt

    dfwatt Active Member

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    #24 dfwatt, Jul 8, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
    Thanks for posting this. It's an excellent and classical description of how the tail is wagging the dog in Corporate America. Executives and lawyers make critical decisions in willful ignorance, even when they are given proper information from technical people about the potentially critical value of a particular piece of IP. It's simply too much a basic part of American corporate culture, perhaps with just a few exceptions. Apple perhaps until recently, Tesla, currently, and perhaps a few other companies where technical people are completely integrated into as opposed to isolated from the core executive and decision-making processes. As Tech companies become more successful and the executive group often times becomes more grandiose, greedy and often times even more character disordered, and thus less responsive to learning what they don't know from people they regard as dispensable underlings, these kinds of mistakes become more commonplace.

    The good news is the Tesla does not seem to be making these kinds of mistakes. Hard to tell from a distance, and the turnover in their executive group always raises a lot of questions about what in fact is going on on the inside, and Elon's tweets of course often need to have a net thrown over them, but in terms of technically critical acquisitions and supply chain decisions, Tesla looks solid. And the Model Y is clearly poised to be a screaming 600-foot home run in a fashion that will only consolidate Tesla's massive lead in EV technology.
     
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  5. Brando

    Brando Active Member

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    #25 Brando, Jul 8, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
    good question
    And why isn't GM building a competitor to Model S? Cadillac could have used the sales, no? BEV or PHEV??
    And why isn't GM making a Model X killer? BEV or Hybrid without Falcon Wing Doors?
    And why isn't GM making a battery factory?
    AND what about Ford? Same questions.

    AND why hasn't GM nor FORD bought SANDY MUNRO's Model 3 report while many other OEMs (even FIAT) have.

    You can buy it for $167,000 for all 3 parts of Munro's Model 3 report.

    And which companies use cells vs pouches?? Only Tesla and Rivian? Is that correct??

    And genius investors worry about Elon tweets - just ask the SEC which fined Elon/Tesla $40,000,000.
     
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  6. Doggydogworld

    Doggydogworld Member

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    Maxwell's dry electrode coating is not some new thing - they've tried to get battery companies to use it for more than a decade. In 2008 they collaborated with Johnson Controls/Saft to put Maxwell's dry-coated electrodes into HEV batteries. The article mentions a 2007 deal with Tianjim Lishen which also included making batteries with DBE. DOE funded a project in 2011.

    Enthusiasts like Galli are hyperventilating, but It'll be a while before we know if DBE is useful to Tesla or just another Silevo.
     
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  7. mongo

    mongo Well-Known Member

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    Disagree with this section:
    If Tesla is the partner Maxwell was working with, they already know. Further, their lab results show a 20% energy density improvement which Tesla would have already validated via Jeff's accelerated life testing.
     
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  8. Brando

    Brando Active Member

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    side note: I think only 2 automakers are using cells. Tesla and Rivian.
    Everyone else using pouches.

    Only Tesla bold enough to make the batteries they need.
    All other OEMs want Battery Companies to do R&D and all capital expenses for battery factores/production.
     
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  9. dfwatt

    dfwatt Active Member

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    #29 dfwatt, Jul 8, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
    You must be kidding! So Tesla spent a quarter of a billion dollars to experiment with something that they're not 100% convinced is going to be critical to improving their Battery Technology and throughput? That's about the strangest assertion I've ever heard. Quarter of a billion dollars just to experiment with this?. Even for Tesla that kind of money doesn't grow on trees, and the true scientific experimenting is long over and the results of those experiments are clearly visible to Tesla and that's why they moved in the direction that they did. Implementing a major change in production technology even if they're 100% convinced that's such a change is going to improve both battery functionality and throughput of the factory is another story. That may require a whole lot of trial-and-error pipe fitting so to speak, as well as capital Investments that may exceed 250 million to implement, but in terms of this technology being something that they're not sure they can use? That makes no sense.
     
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  10. Brando

    Brando Active Member

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    EU getting serious about battery production

     
  11. Rogstar

    Rogstar Member

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    Precisely.
    The machines pictured in the Maxwell website (before all mention of batteries was removed!) Are no doubt churning out batteries for test, and/or production, plus being replicated by either the original manufacturer, or Grohmann.

    I fully expect these to be in production cars in Q1, maybe even sooner.
     
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  12. Doggydogworld

    Doggydogworld Member

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    They didn't spend anything. In fact, they acquired a bit of cash in this deal. They issued less than a million shares for a technology that might help them and a bunch of good R&D folk. Tech companies do this all the time.
     
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  13. dfwatt

    dfwatt Active Member

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    Just because the deal was structured in terms of stock doesn't mean assets didn't change hands. The notion that Tesla's willing to give out a boat load of stock when they have no hard scientific or technical evidence that they can actually use those patents is an absurd claim.
     
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  14. gluu

    gluu Member

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    Maxwell did shop itself around, and in particular to two other automakers, neither of which responded with interest in acquisition.

    SC 14D9

    My hunch is that potential acquirers looked at Maxwell's financials and thought that Maxwell was simply trying to save itself from bankruptcy, rather than realizing that Maxwell had game breaking technology with an offer in progress from Tesla. The acquisition was announced Feb 4th.
     
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  15. M+K.Reeser

    M+K.Reeser Member

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    The most important thing to remember is the oil companies are not going to sit by quietly and be put out of business. They have paid good money to stop research and development of alternative fuels, batteries, electric motors and even hemp.
    Whatever Maxwell has, it was not noticed by the big oil.
     
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  16. ZoomsansVroom

    ZoomsansVroom Supporting Member

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    Cites, please. I know plenty of oil folks. None of them are fans of selling gasoline - they'd all much rather sell NG - which is how most most EVs are powered...
     
  17. cduzz

    cduzz Member

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    No other company even tries to stuff thousands of cells into a battery pack.

    Most other companies build packs with 10-50 enormous cells using "prismatic" or "pouch" cells.

    It is far easier to build big packs with fewer cells, but there are a bunch of compromises you end up making.

    Imagine what's going on in a tesla factory where they're assembling 87,048 cars each with 3000 to 8000 cells at a rate of 35 packs an hour, just to stack the cells and attach them together to make the pack modules. No other company even tries.

    The small cell architecture yields huge current in / out (tremendous performance and charging speed) and very precise management of the battery environment (hot for supercharging, warm for L2 charging, just-right for driving), you can change the shape of the skateboard to suit a particular platform's requirements without having to resort to "foot garages" or other absurdities).

    Maxwell *may* allow for making cells without having to bake off whatever toxic/expensive solvents are currently used in gluing the lithium slurry to the plastic film that gets rolled up into the batteries, which would radically simplify the manufacturing process / expense. The resulting cells may also be more stable / durable.

    Regardless of the Maxwell advantage, Tesla's "battery lead" is in manufacturing and battery management, and it is undeniable.
     
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  18. igranderojo

    igranderojo Member

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    Please don't label Tesla a car manufacturer.
    Tesla makes and sells technology, and just happens to make cars that use that technology. Technology includes software, battery cells/modules, custom circuit boards and other technology.
    Nissan makes and sells cars/trucks, and struggles with 21st Century technology.
    The 2019 Leaf (my wife drives one) remains a compact SUV. you push a button on the dash to start, push down on the lever to turn off the parking brake, then move the gear shift left and up for reverse, or left and pull back for drive. The climate control is the same on the dash as the 2013 Leaf we used to have. All the buttons and things to turn things on and off are the same as the 2013 Leaf.
     
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  19. dogphlap

    dogphlap Member

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    #39 dogphlap, Jul 8, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
    If Tesla does produce produce its own cells (I think they will and soon) they may not be 2170 or 18650, they may not even be cylindrical.
    Not because assembling and wiring thousands of cells is such a chore, it's something that lends itself to vision assisted robotics after all but because there are good technical reasons why another form factor might make more sense. Tesla originally went with 18650 cells because they were already being made by the million for lap top computers by a few few quality manufacturers at a commodity price. But cooling the cells is more difficult than say a thin pouch cell that has shorter thermal paths which could be liquid cooled easier and more effectively than cylindrical cells, even the small ones that Tesla currently uses.
    I'm not saying Tesla will abandon cylindrical cells for pouch cells but the possibility is there. Once you control the manufacturing of the cells you can make them in any format that makes the most sense and that may not be as a cylinder.
     
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  20. wdolson

    wdolson Supporting Member

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    The key problem for GM and a most of the rest of the industry is that they are not securing enough batteries. The US Big 3 automakers are not all that interested in making cars anymore. They are now small truck makers who also offer some cars.

    The Big 3 are facing a Catch 22 with EVs. They don't have access to enough batteries to mass produce any EV right now and they are afraid of two things that could happen if they tried to mass produce EVs: 1) It would kill their ICE sales before they had enough batteries to replace ICE production, or 2) They go all in on current li-ion tech and there is a major breakthrough tomorrow that leaves them with older, unwanted, more expansive tech when competitors who held out for the new battery tech are raking in sales.

    The EV market has two key limiters, one is a hard limit and the other is soft. The first limit is battery supply. Even Tesla is now facing scaling difficulties as mentioned up thread. Battery supply is expanding world-wide, but it's still only a tiny fraction of what's needed to convert EV production over.

    The other, softer limit is consumer demand. Tesla is doing well, but other EVs sit on dealer's lots. In part because dealers don't know how and don't want to sell them. But the mainstream hasn't really flipped on EV demand yet. In places like California few people don't know about Tesla and what they're about, but get to Kansas and you'll find a lot of people scratching their heads and asking where the engine is. Get to the upper Midwest and you'll find hostility towards EVs because they're threatening their hometown industry.

    I literally have friends and family in or retired from the oil business. The oil companies are a lot less worried about EVs coming. As you point out, they can still sell natural gas and at least in North America we're nowhere near running out. I think they would prefer to sell oil though, it has more profit potential, but they also realize that the cheap to produce and refine oil is running out. The stuff that's left is heavier, requiring more refining, and/or very expensive to produce.

    In North America we produce oil from existing fields with secondary recovery methods (which costs more per barrel), produce it from ever deeper waters offshore (which costs a lot to drill), or is produced from oil shale or tar sands (both require extra energy and effort to bring to market). Venezuela has a lot of oil, but it's heavy stuff that requires more refining. The Saudi light, sweet crude is running out, though the Saudis deny it.

    The oil companies are largely run by the same short term thinkers plaguing most American corporations. As long as they see a path that keeps them in bonuses until they retire, they don't really care what happens next.

    If EV demand went way up and ICE sales dropped, the oil companies know that the average age of cars in the US is 12 years. Even if battery production could meet demand, which it couldn't in that scenario today, it would be at least a decade until 1/2 the ICE were off the streets, and more realistically 2 decades. And that's just half the fleet.

    In the medium term a shrinking oil market is fine for oil companies. They can quit exploration and developing new fields, which is their biggest expense by a huge margin and can just sell what they have. Because their biggest expense is gone, they rake in massive profits over pumping what's there. They know this is not a long term strategy, but it lasts until their retirement and that's all that concerns the corporate bosses.

    The car companies are much more concerned about the rise of EVs. They could be facing extinction within 5-10 years if demand flips and ICE sales crash before they can get enough batteries. Because their culture farms out so much it doesn't occur to most car company execs to do what Tesla is doing securing their own supply of batteries. They are depending on just buying from someone else. That's going to prove a mistake when the crunch comes. Especially if battery makers decide to make EVs too, which is a high probability with LG.
     
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