Tesla’s new battery design that could be used for 100 years

3 mins read
Tesla's new battery design that could be used for 100 years

Researchers at Tesla have publicly announced the design of a new electric vehicle battery that could last up to 100 years before being replaced.

Tesla's new battery design that could be used for 100 years

Founded in 2016, Tesla’s Advanced Battery Research department has teamed up with Dalhousie University in Canada to produce a nickel-based battery that offers much longer lifespan compared to batteries currently used in electric vehicles.

Tesla currently manufactures and uses a type of lithium-ion battery called lithium iron phosphate (LFP), which provides a higher energy density and offers longer intervals between charges.

The nickel-based alternative described by the researchers could theoretically overcome the energy density and endurance limitations of such batteries, while offering a greatly improved life cycle.

The paper detailing the research, titled “Li[Ni0.5Mn0.3Co0.2]O2 as a Superior Alternative to LiFePO4 in Long-Life Low-Voltage Lithium-Ion Batteries,” was published in The Journal of the Electrochemical Society.

The goal of producing a very long-lasting battery could ultimately reduce production costs and significantly reduce the footprint of the electric vehicle industry.

The lifespan of the batteries in current Tesla models is estimated to be about 320,000 kilometers, or more than 20 years, before charging capacity begins to drop by more than 20 percent.

Making batteries that last longer than cars could make the batteries available in new models, maybe even a few different models.

“The excellent service life at high temperature has been proven by electrolytes containing lithium bis(flurosulonyl) mid (LiFSl) salt, far beyond those provided by conventional LiPF6 electrolytes,” the article states.

NMC cells, especially those that are charged and compatible to 3.8V, show better colombic efficiency, less capacity fading, and higher energy density compared to LFP cells, and are thought to give a life yield approaching a century at 25 degrees Celsius.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk was expected to announce a “million-kilometer battery” at the company’s Battery Day event in September 2020, but instead announced a plan to move from cobalt to nickel in the next 10 years.

While this increased sustainability and reduced questions about the ethical sourcing of cobalt, it also offered an insight into the battery development trajectory that Tesla researchers are currently taking.

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