Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) purchased key patent applications related to the manufacture of nickel metal cathodes two weeks before the company’s “Battery Day” for $3 from a Canada-based company Springpower, TechCrunch reported Tuesday citing public records.
What Happened: One application gave details on a process similar to one described by Drew Baglino, Tesla’s senior vice-president of engineering, on Battery Day held in September last year.
The manufacturing process used in the making of cathodes for electric vehicle batteries generates up to 4,000 gallons of contaminated water for every ton of cathode material, according to TechCrunch.
Springpower’s process recirculates the chemical solution involved and eliminates the need to treat the contaminated water.
At the presentation, Baglino had also shown a method that reuses and produces no effluent. The process cuts operational costs by 75%.
“We can also use that same process to directly consume the metal powder coming out of recycled electric vehicle and grid storage batteries,” Baglino had said at the time.
Why It Matters: TechCrunch noted that Springpower’s website has been replaced by a holding page and several of the company’s researchers have changed their LinkedIn profiles to state that they are now working at Tesla.
The publication insinuated that Tesla may have purchased more than just the Canadian company’s intellectual property.
Baglino reportedly said at Battery Day that Tesla was going “going to start building our own cathode facility in North America.”
At the event, Tesla had stated a goal to produce a $25,000 fully autonomous electric car within three years, but further details were withheld.
Price Action: Tesla shares closed 1.65% lower at $673.60 on Tuesday in the regular session and gained 0.25% in the after-hours session.
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