It's only a matter of time before battery research pushes EVs to the forefront.
Not long ago, we apprised you of Tesla battery researcher Jeff Dahn's outlook on electric car batteries that could offer a massive shifting point for EVs. We also shared an exclusive interview with the battery guru via Sean Mitchell's AllThingsEV YouTube channel.
In that interview, Dahn made it clear that he couldn't really talk about Tesla batteries. But, we put two and two together and figured something must be in the works.
With news of Tesla's own upcoming battery manufacturing potential and the acquisition of battery maker and supercapacitor leader Maxwell Technologies, it's only a matter of time before the Silicon Valley automaker comes forth with updated battery tech.
The best part of this whole situation is that Tesla's batteries in partnership with Panasonic have already proven themselves as far greater than the best in the business.
Now, Dahn, in his research partnership with the Silicon Valley all-electric automaker, is touting battery cells that could endure some one-million miles. These cells could potentially become commonplace in Tesla's upcoming robo-taxis.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been touting the company's soon-to-launch full self-driving tech for years. It's supposedly very close to completion. The CEO has gone so far as to say that once the tech comes forth, it will be increasingly expensive and will greatly up the resale value of equipped cars.
Dahn performs battery research out of his own lab, which is partnered with Tesla and other investors. According to a recent report by Electrek, sources have stated that he's on the brink of releasing a battery cell that's potentially capable of one million miles. The report says that it uses a "single crystal NMC cathode" to achieve such results.
The recent Dahn battery report explains (via Electrek):
We present a wide range of testing results on an excellent moderate-energy-density, lithium-ion pouch cell chemistry to serve as benchmarks for academics and companies developing advanced lithium-ion and other ‘beyond lithium-ion’ cell chemistries to (hopefully) exceed. These results are far superior to those that have been used by researchers modeling cell-failure mechanisms, and as such, these results are more representative of modern Li-ion cells and should be adopted by modelers. Up to three years of testing have been completed for some of the tests. Tests include long-term charge-discharge cycling at 20, 40, and 55°C, long-term storage at 20, 40, and 55°C, and high precision coulometry at 40°C. Several different electrolytes are considered in this LiNi0.5Mn0.3Co0.2O2/graphite chemistry, including those that can promote fast charging. The reasons for cell performance degradation and impedance growth are examined using several methods. We conclude that cells of this type should be able to power an electric vehicle for over 1.6 million kilometers (1 million miles) and last at least two decades in grid energy storage.
We are talking about battery cells that last two to three times longer than Tesla’s current battery cells.
We'd love to know what you think. Is this something that's plausible in the near future or is it far off like solid-state battery tech. Let us know what you think in the comment section below.