Tesla held a “Battery Day” on Sept 22. It was an event where founder Elon Musk wanted to show off his company’s latest battery improvements. According to analysts, it was underwhelming. Tesla unveiled plans to develop a “million-mile” battery that could last an electric car’s entire lifetime on the road. It also outlined plans to dramatically reduce the cost of its battery cells and packs to US$100 per kWh ($136 per kWh), at which point experts believe electric cars will become comparable in price to com- bustion engine vehicles.

Electric vehicles (EVs) are the cars of the future. They can be powered naturally with renewable resources like solar, wind and water power. Being powered by a renewable source — through the car battery — is the main advantage of EVs. Petrol is polluting and several large economies have committed to becoming carbon neutral by the middle of this century. For instance, China has announced its plans to be carbon neutral by 2060.

One of the main drawbacks of an EV is its battery. These are heavy, have a shorter range than petrol or diesel engines, and batteries take longer to charge. At present, there are not enough charging stations globally and in Singapore, and the Tesla, in particular, is a very expensive car. Still, being the vehicle of the future, investors have piled into Tesla’s stock, which has outperformed the S&P500 and other broad market indices this year.

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