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Maxwell Technology acquired by Tesla


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Maxwell Technologies has announced their definitive merger agreement with Tesla, Inc. This is a $218 million dollar all-stock deal which put a value of $4.75 per share on the Maxwell common stock. To quote the news announcement from Maxwell;


"We are very excited with today's announcement that Tesla has agreed to acquire Maxwell. Tesla is a well-respected and world-class innovator that shares a common goal of building a more sustainable future," said Dr. Franz Fink, President and Chief Executive Officer of Maxwell. "We believe this transaction is in the best interests of Maxwell stockholders and offers investors the opportunity to participate in Tesla's mission of accelerating the advent of sustainable transport and energy."

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is on record saying that ultracapacitors could provide a more likely bet for a breakthrough in energy storage than batteries. Maxwell Ultracapacitors can hold up to 300 watt-hours of electricity per kilogram. This represents 20%  more storage than Tesla's largest battery cell pack. Maxwell is also on record saying that their Ultracapacitors have the potential to store more than double the energy by mass versus Tesla's current cell design and will allow Tesla to ramp up the density and speed factor of their auto's while greatly reducing the time to recharge.

Looking at where Tesla is today and for the future, this purchase has to be also based on the fact that Maxwell Ultracapacitors use solid-state technology with no flammable electrolytes or rare earth minerals such as cobalt. One also has to think that this could be a hedge as Panasonic is on record as saying they will not have solid state batteries for about 10 years unlike Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Fisker, Dyson and other auto companies who have stated they will have solid state batteries in their electric vehicles between 2022 and 2025.

Maxwell is also the ultracapacitor supplier to Geely, the parent company of Volvo where they will be used in Volvo's plug-in hybrids.

Maxwell has also announced that they will showcase their Ultracapacitor storage system at Key Q1 2019 Grid and Utility Events such as DistribuTECH in New Orleans and Energy Storage Europe in Germany. To quote their press release:


 Maxwell will showcase two ultracapacitor subsystems for grid energy storage: the Grid Energy Storage System (GESS) and the Grid Cell Pack (GCP). These highly scalable products deliver reliable, fast-responding, long lifetime storage in grids and microgrids. Both products address the growing need for power-intense grid services, and are designed to stabilize voltage and frequency, firm renewable power output, provide bridging and ramping services and improve generator response. The GESS and GCP can be deployed as stand-alone energy storage systems or in combination with other energy storage assets.

This one could take as a sign of how Tesla will grow their own home and business storage business with Solar. Musk in the most recent earning's call stated he thinks Tesla's energy storage business is to be one of their big growth areas this year.

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As has been the norm for the last few years in F1 racing with electric assist and an Ultracapacitor for boost of performance, I think we will see this companies products be used in more than just storage, but also in a boost mode feature.

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  • 3 months later...

The web site Teslarati is reporting that Tesla has closed the purchase on Maxwell Technologies.


This technology will now allow Tesla to make another jump in battery tech putting further pressure on competing auto OEMs as currently Tesla  Model 3 battery pack is a 207 Wh / kg where as Maxwell has that same battery pack at 300 Wh / kg and has a clear path to raise it to 500 Wh / kg along with improving the quick speed charging and performance of their auto's using Maxwell Ultra capacitor technology.

Maxwell dry electrode technology is considered to be the safest battery tech in the world as they tend to have almost zero loss of holding a charge over long periods of storage.

Tesla has plans to move to the new Maxwell battery tech for 2021 model year, meaning in 2020, Tesla auto's will gain a 45% increase in power density and with the road map set, they are planning to have the 500 Wh / lg battery density be in production by 2023 giving a 142% increase over todays battery density to a pack.

How does this work out in real world approach? Two ways to offer the 300 Wh / kg tech:

  • Current 250 mile 1000 lb battery pack will change to a 362.5 mile 1000 lb battery pack.
  • Current 250 mile 1000 lb battery pack will stay at 250 miles and be reduced to 550 lbs.

This means we will be looking at the following example when the 500 Wh / kg battery packs go into production.

  • Current 250 mile 1000 lb battery pack will change to a 605 mile 1000 lb battery pack.
  • Current 250 mile 1000 lb battery pack will stay at 250 miles and be reduced to 210 lbs.

Yesterday Tesla completed the transfer of $235 million in stock the the Maxwell stock holders. This broke down to 1 share of Maxwell stock for 0.0193 share of Tesla stock and cash in lieu of any fractional shares.

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