Research team led by Tesla executive identifies one-million-mile battery

Elon Musk’s plan to use Tesla Model 3 vehicles as “robo-taxis” just got that much closer after a research team led by Tesla’s head of battery research group Jeff Dahn discovered a battery type capable of powering an electric vehicle for 1.6 million kilometres.

Musk announced in April of this year that his new Model 3 vehicle was designed to last one-million-miles (1.6 million kilometres). However, its current battery technology is only designed to last between 300,000km and 500,000km, meaning significant investment and improvement was needed for the technology for it to be capable of functioning as a robo-taxi.

Shortly after this announcement, Musk was again making headlines, teasing that Tesla had something in the works to counter this issue.

“The new battery pack that is probably going to production next year is designed explicitly for 1 million miles of operation,” said Musk.

Since then, Musk has been quiet on the battery production front.

However, a paper recently published in the Journal of Electrochemistry claimed a team of researchers led by Dahn had singled out a battery cell that was capable of handling the demand of continuous taxi usage.

The discovery came after three-years of testing batteries in a range of environmental conditions at 100% discharging power, as well as testing how much power was created at 40°c using a range of electrolytes.

The report reads: “Of call the cells tested, the ones with the longest lifetime are the single crystal NMC532/AG cells with optimised electrolytes reported here.”

“We conclude that cells of this type should be able to power an electric vehicle for over 1.6 million kilometres and last at least two decades in grid energy storage.”

The results of the report have important implications for the electro mobility industry and could allow Tesla to achieve Musk’s goal of a one-million-mile battery should Dahn choose to bring the technology to Tesla.

Batteries designed to withstand deep-cycling without substantial battery loss over time have the potential to be used for a range of technology, including Musk’s robo-taxi dream.

Tesla has made no official comment on the findings of the research paper or the one-million-mile battery.

Original source: TheDriven.io | Tesla battery team breaks one million mile barrier and the implications are huge

19 Sep 2019