Tesla's research partner Jeff Dahn is making many improvements to the potential million-mile battery.
It continues to become more clear that Tesla is making multiple improvements to its potential million-mile battery prior to its official announcement and release. We have no way of knowing for sure if the company plans to share details at its upcoming Battery and Powertrain Investor Day, but that would make perfect sense.
The latest news comes from more research performed by Tesla's battery research partner Jeff Dahn and his team. Along with his students Jessie Harlow and Yulong Liu, Dahn published a research paper the Journal of The Electrochemical Society. It's entitled: Microstructural Observations of "Single Crystal" Positive Electrode Materials Before and After Long Term Cycling by Cross-section Scanning Electron Microscopy
The research points to batteries that use less cobalt and offer greater energy density. This means the product could be cheaper while performing better and lasting longer. Not long ago, other research and a patent revealed work on a new single-crystal NMC 532 cathode and a new electrolyte, which was proven to be capable of over 4,000 cycles.
In the latest research paper, it's proven that NMC 611 and NMC 811 batteries can achieve long-term high-cycling similar to that of NMC 532, plus more energy density, all while using less cobalt.
Currently, Tesla is partnered with Panasonic for its batteries. However, it appears Tesla has plans to begin making its own cells soon. The company has acquired Maxwell Technologies, as well as Hibar systems in an effort to facilitate the situation. More recently, it was reported that Tesla made a deal with Hanwha for battery production equipment.
Tesla is also working on a secret Roadrunner project, which seems to be related here as well. The end goal, of course, is to get as much energy density as possible while scaling up battery production efforts and pushing prices down to $100 per kWh or less.
We look forward to Tesla's Battery and Powertrain Investor Day for more details.