Tesla’s New Battery Tech Made Possible by Canadian Startup

Photo: u/Bimmer3389 on Reddit

At Tesla’s Battery Day event last year, CEO Elon Musk announced plans to switch from cobalt batteries for its electric vehicles (EVs) to lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries, effectively cutting the price in half and reinventing the complex process of building nickel cathodes for its batteries.

According to TechCrunch, Tesla purchased a handful of patent applications from Toronto-based Springpower International for just $3, as shown by public records. One of the applications contains an innovative battery production process that is similar to the one Tesla Senior Vice President of Engineering Drew Baglino described at Tesla’s Battery Day.

During Tesla’s Battery Day presentation, Musk said, “It’s insanely complicated, like digging a ditch, filling it in and digging the ditch again.” Musk continued, “So we looked at the entire value chain and said how can we make this as simple as possible?”

When the patent application was approved in January, Tesla’s purchase of the patent meant that Springpower was left unmentioned and the patent itself was issued to Tesla. Along with the patent, the mention of Springpower has largely disappeared, with most of the company’s employees changing their LinkedIn profiles to say they work at Tesla, rather than Springpower.

In addition to Baglino’s explanation of battery production, he also included a method that reuses water and produces zero sewage waste.