What if you buy an electric car whose battery nearly never runs out. Considering the fact that automakers are constantly improving on battery degradation which lasts well beyond a typical vehicle’s lifecycle.
Tesla as we know it is never short of innovation as it finds a new way of reducing batteries’ life cycles. Elon Musk first made the remark that his company would create car batteries that lasts 1 million miles. While that statement might sound over the top, the Tesla’s CEO isn’t just spewing out rubbish.
According to a Wired report yesterday, there is said to be works already going on creating this super-batteries after Dalhousie University in Canada published a paper which detailed the chemistry that might enable such a cell.
According to Wired, the university has an exclusive agreement with Tesla which makes it far more easy for the company to work well with the researchers. Tesla, meanwhile, did not return a request for comment. For now, we need to rely on the evidence presented.
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Jeff Dahn led the team of researchers at Dalhousie University and noted in the paper that such a battery would work well for fleets of autonomous cars and trucks used to travel long distances. While a lithium-ion battery in Tesla vehicles today works as intended, a vehicle such as, say, the Tesla Semi could benefit from a battery with such a long service life.
One amazing thing is that the paper provides a full list of specifications on this battery’s chemistry and how to achieve such a long life cycle. Even though there might not be a good answer about how Tesla would achieve this technology, Wired’s report shows that Tesla already has something n work.
The described battery chemistry juices up familiar ingredients and includes larger crystals to make up the battery nanostructure’s cathode. The larger crystals are not nearly as likely to crack while charging, a student in Dahn’s lab told Wired. When these do crack in other batteries, performance drops.
The main strength of the battery is it’s ability to provide more balancing between storing energy and maintaining the battery life cycle. The report paper showed that during 4,000 discharge and charge sessions, there were only 10% loss in energy capacity. As noted in the original report, a similar study from 2014 showed a lithium-ion battery lost 50% of its energy capacity after 1,000 discharge and charge cycles.
The final juicy bits of the report? Tesla and Dahn received a patent for a similar sounding battery after the research paper’s publication. While this type of battery isn’t the holy grail known as solid-state units, it could truly open up the possibilities for EVs in the near future.