As the world eagerly awaits for Tesla’s Battery Day
rumour has it the company is accelerating its efforts to release a revolutionary new battery cell. It will supposedly bring the costs of producing electric vehicles on par with their fossil-fuel-powered counterparts.
Rumours are especially “fueled”, no pun intended, by the patents that Tesla has been filing since the second half of 2019.
Elon Musk is aiming for the 1 million mile range.
During Tesla’s Autonomy Event in April 2019, Musk stressed that EVs need to be durable in order for them to be viable from an economic standpoint. He stated that the cars should be “tested and validated for 1 million miles of operation”.
The Tesla CEO admitted that current battery packs are not built to last 1 million miles.
First potential breakthrough: A patent filed by Tesla’s battery research team in September 2019.
The Canada-based research team, headed by Jeff Dahn of Dalhousie University, have published test results for a test battery cell that could power an electric vehicle for over 1.6 million kilometers.
These Lithium-ion battery cells contain a single crystal NMC cathode and a new advanced electrolyte. The study did not disclose what type of electrolyte will be used. NMC cathodes, or Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide, are said to have a higher energy density than other types of cathodes.
The study also stated that, quote-unquote, “cells of this type should be able to last at least two decades in energy storage”. It also mentioned that this longevity potential would serve well “robo taxis” and “long-haul trucking”.
A second patent was filed last April for the 1-million mile battery.
The company filed a patent for a new NCA electrode that may be used for Tesla’s new battery cell production.
NCA, or Lithium nickel cobalt aluminium oxide, is a class of electrode material that is used for the fabrication of lithium-ion batteries.
The patent states that the use of NCA electrodes would reduce contaminants in battery cells, leading to an increased lifespan of the latter.
Better battery technology = Enter the new industrial revolution.
If Tesla’s latest development of battery technology comes to fruition, the company will be positioning itself as a definitive catalyst for a new industrial revolution.
Not only EVs will last longer than 20 years, but Tesla could also be planning to create a product line that could stay with owners with little annual maintenance.
This will undoubtedly accelerate the push towards sustainable, environmentally-friendly economic growth.