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Tesla Batteries Are Getting Even Better

Welcome to The Grid, R&T's quick roundup of the auto industry and motorsports news you should know this morning.

Tesla Batteries Are Getting Even Better


For the first time in its history, Tesla is now facing serious competition from traditional automakers, but its cars still have a considerable efficiency advantage. And that advantage looks set to continue. Reuters reports that Panasonic, which makes the 2170 cells used in various Tesla models, is aiming to increase energy density by 20 percent in the next five years. The relative low energy density of lithium-ion battery packs compared with fuel tanks is one of the biggest obstacles to mass EV adoption. These changes could help Tesla (or any other automaker supplied by Panasonic) present a more practical alternative to internal-combustion cars.

Volkswagen Posts Big First-Half Losses

Yesterday, we got financial results from GM and Aston Martin, and today, we get some from Volkswagen. CNBC reports that the automaker posted a $940 million loss for the first half of 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic hammered car sales around the globe. VW sales fell 23.2 percent year over year, but despite that, the company expects to be profitable for 2020.

Land Rover Delays Defender 90

The safety measures put in place by automakers as a result of the pandemic have had a huge effect on vehicle production. Automotive News reports that Jaguar Land Rover's Slovakia plant is operating on just one shift, and consequently, the new short-wheelbase Defender 90 is being delayed. Land Rover apparently has 20,000 orders for the new four-door Defender 110, and it has to build those before it can start cranking out the two-door 90. Automotive News says that Land Rover will only introduce the Defender 90 for the 2021 model year, which represents a delay of four to six months from what was originally planned.