Tesla Patents a New Battery Cell with Tabless Electrode

Electric vehicle maker and green energy provider Tesla Inc. makes headlines quite frequently. With an eccentric CEO and innovative products, the company holds a strong appeal from both engineering and cultural standpoints. However, some of its more important projects get overlooked at some points.

One such project comes in the form of a new battery cell patent the company secured this week. In a statement on Twitter Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the patent is “Way more important than it sounds.”

So what is the new patent anyways? First and foremost, the patent tackles some issues found in most tabbed battery cell designs. The solution outlined in Tesla’s patent proposes “A cell of an energy storage device with at least one electrode that is tabless…” The full patent has been released on Scribd for anyone curious to explore the technical workings of the new battery cell.

As described in the patent, “Current cells use a jelly-roll design in which the cathode, anode, and separators are rolled together and have a cathode tab and an anode tab to connect to the positive and negative terminals of the cell can. The path of the current necessarily travels through these tabs to connectors on the outside of the battery cell. However, ohmic resistance is increased with distance when current must travel all the way along the cathode or anode to the tab and out of the cell. Furthermore, because the tabs are additional components, they increase costs and present manufacturing challenges…”

With their new approach to cells, Tesla generates yet another appeal to its electric vehicles. The technology may also prove useful for a number of other projects. Elon Musk said Tesla’s Battery Day will be the most exciting day in the company’s history.