Why Tesla’s grid batteries will use two different chemistries

Fortune

Buried within Tesla Motors’ hour-and-fifteen-minute earnings call earlier this month was the nugget that the electric automaker [fortune-stock symbol=”TSLA”] plans to use two different variations of lithium-ion batteries for its two different grid battery products.

The news could easily be dismissed as just a bit of battery geekery, but there’s more to it than that. It suggests that Tesla is not just increasing how many types of batteries it uses in its products, but that it has the ability to produce both models at its planned battery “gigafactory.” The batteries could influence how the facility is designed.

But before we understand how much this could affect Tesla’s factory, let’s take a step back to explain the nuts and bolts of battery making and why Tesla wants to do this.

Lithium-ion battery basics

Most traditional lithium-ion batteries that are found in devices like cell phones are made using a cathode…

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