Tesla is set to launch a million-mile battery as soon as this year or early in 2021 for its Model 3 in China, as part of a wider plan to introduce longer-lasting, low-cost batteries that would bring electric vehicle (EV) prices to parity with conventional gas-powered cars, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing sources familiar with the EV maker’s plans.
A million-mile battery would be just one pillar of Elon Musk’s strategy to make Tesla an energy company, according to the sources.
Last year, a team from the Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, who do research for Tesla, said in a paper that they had tested lithium-ion battery cell chemistry expected to be able to power electric vehicles (EVs) for more than 1 million miles and last at least two decades in grid energy storage.
Jeff Dahn and his research team presented testing results of “excellent moderate-energy-density lithium-ion pouch cell chemistry” that should be able to power an electric vehicle for over 1.6 million kilometers (1 million miles) and last at least two decades in grid energy storage.
The researchers from Dalhousie University have an exclusive agreement with Tesla, and they reported that they had designed battery cells with higher energy density without using the solid-state electrolyte that many believe is a necessary condition for enhanced density.
After an initial rollout in China for the Model 3, the million-mile battery will be further improved for cost, storage capacity, and energy density and will be used in other Tesla models in markets outside China, including North America, Reuters’ sources said, while Tesla declined to comment on the report.
Earlier this year, Reuters reported that Tesla was in talks with China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (CATL) to make batteries without using cobalt for its China-made vehicles. Cobalt, one of the most expensive metals for batteries, is a key reason why EVs are still more expensive than vehicles with internal combustion engines.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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