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Tesla is probably the most famous manufacturer of electric vehicles. They appeared on the market and quickly surpassed existing car makers and to dominate with their Tesla Model S.
On Monday, General Motors, the world’s second largest car maker, announced that it intended to steal back the EV market from Tesla by building an electric car that could rival the 200-mile range of the Model S, whilst selling the vehicle for just $30,000, less than half the price of the Model S.
For the Model S Tesla uses normal commodity batteries made by Panasonic; merely a larger version of the regular cylindrical batteries that you can buy in electrical shops. The batteries contain a chemical composition of nickel-cobalt-aluminium, which is cheaper than most rival batteries, but suffers from catching fire easily. Tesla was able to overcome this flaw by introducing a control system to manage the batteries.
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GM has decided to master a new battery technology that will be much more efficient than any other battery out there. A form of lithium-ion technology, they hope to perfect the composition of a battery that contains nickel, cobalt, and manganese (NMC), which scientists think will produce more powerful, and cheaper batteries than any other lithium-ion chemical composition. The problem is that there are still several physical flaws that no one has yet overcome; GM hopes to be the first.
GM already offers two electric cars to the market, the Chevrolet Volt at $35,000, and the Chevrolet Spark EV at $27,500. The Model S has managed to sell far more models than the Volt this year, despite its sale price of $71,000; this is entirely due to the fact that the Model S offers a 200 mile range, whereas most other EV’s can travel just 100 miles of less between charges.
GM admits that it might be able to learn something from Tesla’s success, and plan to release a $100,000 EV that will directly compete with the Model S.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com