PHOTO CAPTION: Elon Musk with Space X Falcon launch vehicle.

Elon Musk Offers Battery Advice to Boeing

While Boeing says it has the situation with its 787 Dreamliner lithium batteries 'under control', Musk willing to share Tesla team's experience with Panasonic nickel-cobalt-aluminum lithium-ion batteries.

Published: 08-Feb-2013

About two weeks ago, spaceship-and-electric car-maker Elon Musk got in touch with Boeing, whose 787 Dreamliners are grounded because of smoke and fire problems with their powerful lithium-iron batteries. His team had figured out how to tightly pack such batteries into both space-going and earthly vehicles. He was happy to pass along lessons learned. Boeing replied that the situation is “under control,” Musk said.

Now, Boeing appears to have reconsidered. Though it is not saying so explicitly, it seems to be looking at Musk’s main advice—reducing the chance of fire hazard by increasing the space (paywall) between the lithium-ion cells in the battery pack, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The reporting on Musk gets one thing wrong—his Tesla automobiles do not use the lithium-cobalt-oxide chemistry that is in the Dreamliner batteries. They rely on Panasonic nickel-cobalt-aluminum lithium-ion batteries, which may be less volatile.


Lola-Drayson B12/69EV

Batteries are made from carbon fibre similar to that used in aerospace and racing.

Ford Focus Electric chassis. 23kWh battery pack mounted in the rear.

Based on the price of the Focus Electric and size of the battery pack, Ford would be paying between $522 and $650 a kilowatt-hour for its electric-vehicle batteries.

IBM Almaden Research Center near San Jose, California, site of 500 Mile Battery effort.

Goal of effort is to develop lithium-air battery that can rival gasoline in energy density, making electric cars viable.


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