“Tesla Hires 24 Million Battery Experts for DBE Technology”

Tesla is known to still struggle to capitalize on the full potential of its 4680 cells. Because this also includes the use of dry coating of the cathode and anode.

Now Elon Musk has apparently poached an expert to finally get the technology under control. Battery specialist Matt Tyler was poached by US battery manufacturer 24M, reports Electrek.

According to the article, the machine builder has been dealing with battery cells for over a decade and was last at 24M Vice President of Advanced Manufacturing. As such, he was responsible for developing the manufacture of cells with semi-solid electrodes.

The engineer reportedly moved to Fremont, California from Massachusetts in February and is now Tesla’s director of dry electrode development. He is supposed to ramp up the manufacturing process so that Tesla can use the full potential of the technology in the 4680 cells.


The dry-battery-electrode process (DBE) is intended to reduce the necessary production area and energy requirements (slide from Battery Day)

Elon Musk had already presented the “Dry Battery Electrode” (DBE) technology for dry coating of the electrodes at his Tesla Battery Day. So far, the electrodes have been coated using solvents, which then have to be removed again in a laborious process. To do this, the electrodes have to be dried in huge ovens, whereby the toxic solvents have to be recovered – which drives up costs. The DBE process would simplify production and make it cheaper.

Traditional wet electrode coating process

The The method comes from the US company Maxwell, as InsideEvs USA reported in 2019. Tesla acquired the technology through its acquisition of Maxwell that same year. Tesla now seems to have mastered the DBE coating of the anode, but not the dry coating of the cathode.

24M Technologies is a spin-out company from the renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The Cambridge-based company has a process for making so-called semi-solid electrodes developed.

These “semi-solid” electrodes do not use a binder and instead use a sticky slurry, as described in an article in the MIT News emerges. Instead of solvents, “active substances” are to be used – possibly it is a kind of powder that Tesla also wants to use (“Powder into Film”). The 24M production process should reduce costs by up to 40 percent. Tesla had also promised to cut production costs.

The Dry Battery Electrode Process (DBE) transforms a powder into a film-like coating

The Dry Battery Electrode Process (DBE) turns a powder into a film-like coating (Tesla Battery Day)

Volkswagen is also said to be interested in the 24M process. In any case, the 24M method sounds as if it were closely related to the DBE technology.

Our cover picture shows the production of 4680 cells.

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