Tesla Sells Maxwell Technologies Two Years After Acquisition

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Tesla 4680 Battery 3D-printed model, courtesy of Reddit user u/iTriMara

Samsung and LG completed 4680 battery cell samples earlier this month, but Tesla CEO Elon Musk says the company’s still working on bringing the tech to high volume production, following the sale of a technology company that helped Tesla make the breakthrough.

Tesla sold Maxwell Technologies to UCAP Power according to a press release dated July 14, though the company has reportedly held onto the value of the company’s breakthroughs in dry electrode capacitors (via Tesla Owners Online).

The EV company originally purchased Maxwell in 2019, and largely used the company’s technology for dry electrode IP rather than its work in ultra-capacitors, with Musk confirming that the dry electrode is an important part of Tesla’s work with lithium-ion energy storage.

Musk called the move away from ultra-capacitors “ironic,” explaining that he originally planned to complete his PhD at Stanford in high-energy-density capacitors, specifically for use in EVs.

Musk went on to say that “Dry electrode is a key piece (one of many pieces) of the puzzle for lowering cost of lithium batteries.”

In addition, Musk explained that it has taken a lot of engineering to bring Maxwell’s dry electrode proof-of-concept to bring forth scaled production, saying also that the company is “still not done.”

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