New Tesla 1.6 Million km Battery would Make Electric as Affordable as Gasoline

The manufacturer is on the verge of unveiling a lithium-ion battery whose lifespan would be equivalent to 1.6 million km. Its production cost would be lowered to the point of making future Tesla models almost as affordable as their petrol or diesel counterparts.

If Tesla is not likely to announce a new model this year and without cost for a while, there would still be a big surprise in preparation. Reuters says the automaker will take advantage of its “Battery Day” to reveal a brand new long-lasting, low-cost battery capable of handling the equivalent of 1.6 million km of use. It would be integrated into the Tesla Model 3 sold in China by the end of the year or early 2021. The Battery Day is supposed to take place by the end of the month.

This lithium-ion battery is not a revelation in itself. Futura already talked about it last September, when researchers at Dalhousie University (Canada) published an article describing innovative chemistry, including a cathode made up of larger lithium-nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) crystals. than those usually used. The use of additives and other components kept secret would help reduce the internal stress suffered by the battery during charge / discharge cycles while allowing it to store more energy longer.

Dalhousie University has signed an exclusivity agreement with Tesla which has also collaborated with Contemporary Amperex Technology for the development of several types of batterie, one of these batteries would use only 20% of cobalt while another would have replaced this metal by lithiated iron phosphate.

By reducing its dependence on cobalt and using highly  production, Tesla would be able to drastically lower costs. These batteries would be manufactured in a “Terafactory” factory described as “30 times larger” than the Gigafactory factory located in Nevada (United States). The low-cobalt version would be close to $ 100 per kWh, a cost at which experts agree that it allows electric cars to be almost on par with petrol or diesel models.

These new batteries would first be available in China where Tesla would like to use them to better compete with the fierce competition from local manufacturers by breaking the price of the Model 3. The technology would then be extended to the rest of the international markets. All this is for the moment to be taken in the conditional, but the trajectory described fits well with Elon Musk‘s ambitions.

Battery autonomy is a major issue for the deployment of electric vehicles. Their lifespan also appears to be critical. And researchers are announcing today that they are able to produce batteries capable of powering electric cars over some 1.6 million kilometers without almost losing performance. The next Tesla brand models should be equipped with it.

According to Elon Musk, the Tesla Model 3 battery can undergo some 1,500 charge cycles – the equivalent of 800,000 km traveled – with minimal damage. He even announced that, by 2020, the batteries on board Tesla electric cars will have a lifespan of some 1.6 million km. And work published by researchers at Dalhousie University (Canada) today seems to confirm that it is possible.

The team – which has signed an exclusivity contract with Tesla – describes in an article a lithium-ion battery which “should be able to power an electric vehicle for approximately 1.6 million km” while not losing not more than 10% of its energy capacity. A description rich in detail and intended, according to the authors, to serve as a reference for other researchers.

Already a new evolution of this battery?
It is rather in the structure of the cathode that innovation should be sought. Instead of using small NMC crystals, engineers at Dalhousie University turned to larger crystals. According to them, such a monocrystalline nanostructure is less likely to crack when the battery is charged, thereby increasing both its life and its performance.

Because, of course, energy density remains a major issue in the world of electric cars. What motorists are looking for is autonomy. An even more critical question when we imagine creating fleets of long-haul electric trucks. And the work of researchers at Dalhousie University finally seems to make it possible to reconcile lifespan and autonomy.

They claim to have been able to charge and discharge their battery more than 4,000 times with a loss of only 10% of energy capacity. Whereas in 2014, similar batteries were presented as losing half of their capacity after only 1,000 cycles.

A few days ago, Tesla and the team at Dalhousie University patented a battery almost identical to this one, but including an electrolytic additive called ODTO. An additive that would be able to further boost the performance and lifespan of batteries while reducing costs!

 

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New Tesla 1.6 Million km Battery would Make Electric as Affordable as Gasoline - /10

Summary

The manufacturer is on the verge of unveiling a lithium-ion battery whose lifespan would be equivalent to 1.6 million km. Its production cost would be lowered to the point of making future Tesla models almost as affordable as their petrol or diesel counterparts.

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