Posted on September 08, 2015 by Matt Pressman
Tesla Motors Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer JB Straubel was an invited Visionary speaker at SDF* (Seoul Digital Forum) to present "Tesla's Electric Mission: Taking batteries to a whole new level" during this year's conference. Straubel joins a prestigious club of SDF's past Visionaries including Bill Clinton, Eric Schmidt, Larry King, Al Gore, Sumner Redstone, and others. SDF is Korea's high profile international conference that focuses on emerging trends. Korea also happens to be home to LG Chem and Samsung SDI -- the two biggest lithium-ion battery producers worldwide.
Straubel's fascinating keynote (see video below) is described in SDF's session abstract as follows: "Electric vehicles [EVs] are all the rage. While the auto industry is known for high barriers to entry, the catalyst for the electric turn was a Californian startup founded in 2003, Tesla. The company has now set out to be more than an EV maker: it aims to be a driving force behind the clean energy revolution. What lies at the heart of Tesla’s innovative capability and ambition is the battery technology. The man in charge of developing the very technology, JB Straubel, tells us how his Li-ion batteries can revolutionize not only the way we drive our cars but the way energy is stored both inside and outside our home."
The Tesla CTO forecasts a steep growth curve for lithium-ion batteries over the next five years, as he sees increased demand for electric batteries tailored for cars. “When we look forward to 2020, we think we [Tesla Motors] will have around one million electric cars in total on the road that will amass about 70 gigawatt hours of total energy storage,” he explained. And although one million cars is only a small percentage of the roughly 100 million new cars manufactured globally every year, Straubel emphasized that “70 GWh is a huge figure relative to current battery consumption” levels.