Tesla has formally completed the acquisition of energy storage specialist Maxwell Technologies announced in February. In order to take control of the company, which specializes in supercapacitors and batteries, Tesla is transferring shares worth around $235 million.
Tesla will focus primarily on the intellectual property of the San Diego-based company. As reported, Maxwell has made a name for itself as a manufacturer of ultracapacitors, but also as a developer of so-called dry electrode technology.
With the aquisition of the Maxwell, Tesla is particularly interested in the work on so-called dry electrodes, which do without solvents and are intended to significantly improve the performance of lithium-ion cells and reduce production costs. These demo cells that have already been developed with an energy density of over 300 Wh/kg and a potential of over 500 Wh/kg. In January Maxwell managers told investors that they expected strategic alliances around the new electrode technology within six months, Tesla took them up on this shortly afterwards.
New battery technologies are the key to success for the Californians. For years, the company has been trying to keep manufacturing costs down. The low cell costs are considered Tesla’s most consistent competitive advantage over its competitors. CEO Elon Musk never tires of repeating this. The most recent example is the following comment in a recent annual report: Tesla has the “best costs in the world” for battery production.