Patent Suggests Tesla Is On Cusp Of Battery Chemistry Breakthrough

FEB 20 2019 BY EVANNEX 64


The Tesla battery research group, led by renowned battery boffin Jeff Dahn, has applied for a patent on a new battery cell chemistry that the company says could deliver faster charging, longer life and lower cost.

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Charles Morris. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.

Above: Tesla’s Model S (Instagram: brian__self)

In the application, entitled “Novel battery systems based on two-additive electrolyte systems,” Dahn and his team explain that adding up to five different compounds to an electrolyte can improve battery performance, but they have devised a solution using only two additives, which reduces costs compared to other systems that rely on more additives.

Above: A look at why (and how) battery advances could be a game changer for Tesla (Source: Wall Street Journal)

The new two-additive mixtures can be used with lithium nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) battery chemistries. NMC chemistry is used in several EV models, but Tesla uses an NCA chemistry for its vehicle battery cells. However, Tesla does use NMC in its stationary storage batteries. According to the patent application, the new technology would be useful for both EV and grid storage applications.

Above: Jeff Dahn seated in the driver’s seat of a Tesla Model S (Source: Dalhousie University News)

Electrek has published both a copy of the complete patent application and a detailed technical summary. This news coupled with Tesla’s recent acquisition of Maxwell Technologies could point to forthcoming advances in battery tech for the Silicon Valley automaker.


Written by: Charles Morris; This article originally appeared in Charged. Source: Electrek; Video: Wall Street Journal

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here.

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64 Comments on "Patent Suggests Tesla Is On Cusp Of Battery Chemistry Breakthrough"

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Another Euro point of view

That, but also full self driving by the end of the year, and also let’s not forget the soon to come flying roadster of course. I am soo excited (and here a nice ear piercing school girl schriek).

I’m keeping a skeptical eye on FSD, I think it’s a bit of a distraction tbh, much prefer that they focus on releasing tech that can have an impact today: Model Y, Semi, Roof tiles!

I think he was being sarcastic.

No, AEPOV is a pe-troll.

@Another Auro… said: “…I am soo excited (and here a nice ear piercing school girl schriek).”

Hopefully you were equally excited about VW’s recent announcement that the low cost VW EV you’ve long been waiting for will soon be going into production… only five more years to wait!

Shouldn’t you be on Breitbart.

Or Huf Post

Already driving in your never-delivered E-Tron?

Of course. Everybody is driving their favorite car in Fantasy land.

I don’t want a “flying roadster”, i want a submergible just like the Bond Car. XD

I want a flying toaster.

Another Euro point of view

I want a Roadster that leaves skid marks on ceilings ! (like Homer’s pig).

Another Euro point of view

Yes but that one Elon somehow forgot about it. Someone need to remember him. But I agree with you.

Stop trolling and stop stereotyping. Thanks.

Is this Euro point of view the one from the HQ of one of the diesel addicted European manufacturers? 😉

I think he said FSD by the end of 2020. It will be LIMITED FSD if it arrives then would be my guess.

Good stuff. I see battery technology ramping up quickly — lust like LED technology did 10-15 years ago where costs dropped dramatically.

Yeah LED’s are great but now this administration wants to rule back standards and not phase out incandescent light bulbs
Everyday you learn something stupid this administration wants to do.

Ron, This is an EV website. Take your political crap elsewhere.

EV’s are about protecting the environment and fighting Climate Change. When this administration works to undermine it. I will continue to call them out.

A thought for you Ron: an enemy in a leadership position has done better than our previous flaccid leadership to promote EV’s. I realize coincidence is not causality, but there needs to be some thought here. In many ways I hate Trump, but he sure has galvanized the EV community.

Obama finally got CAFE standards
increased after auto company lobbiest fought it 20 years saying they couldn’t meet the requirements.
Obama got CAFE standards increased again while auto company.
Now Trump wants to stop it that’s why California and other states are fighting the Federal Government.
Trump is permitting the fracking of oil and flaring off of natural gas in the Permian Basin far above legal requirements. They flare off the amount of natural gas equal to the amount they use in Montana or Vermont annually.
So basically the CO2 emissions EV’s saved by not using gasoline. Oil companies flare off in natural gas and emit methane that is even more harmful to the environment.

Oh, please. Your point that Trump has “galvanized the EV community” is like saying that Putin has helped move democracy forward. You can’t honestly claim that Trump has had ANY positive effect on the environment, let alone EVs.

Maybe we should give credit to the Koch bros. for galvanizing the wind and solar industry.

Ptf, just because it is an EV website it doesn’t make it OK to be super rude to someone.

No, that “someone” is being rude with his constant hyperbole born of hysteria and hate.

They were supposed to be phased out in 2012. Different administration.

Another battery breakthrough. Aluminum lithium, Honda, graphene, solid state, lithium air, fluoride, super capacitors, Fisker, Pininfarina, 24M, …
Battery breakthroughs are several every year, we are lucky we have so many to choose from :).

And so many failures/yr!!! Remember most of these Breakthroughs are just grant money chasers or start ups, etc looking for capital.
In this case it is a very limited effect on costs even if it does as says, especially since used in an now obsolete chemistry.

I would tend to agree.. Except in this case Tesla didn’t mention anything about a battery breakthrough. All of those other news stories usually started by companies trying to exploit some media coverage to get more investment. This is not the case here and it is also happening at a company that already makes more batteries than anyone in the world, not some little startup. So, I tend to think there is a better chance of it happening here than any of those other stories.

Companies like Toyota, Fisker, even Dyson, have spent billions on solid state battery technology, hoping for a big breakthrough.

In contrast, from the very beginning, Tesla has always relied on slow, steady increases in battery density–around 6 to 8% a year. They have relied on the accumulation of tiny breakthroughs and decreased cost through production improvements, and their plan has served them well over the years.

I think it is great that so many companies and research institutions are trying so many different technologies. All we need is 2 or 3 breakthroughs which will change the face of EVs, renewables, and energy storage forever.

Also, research in battery technology is very different from writing smartphone apps, most of these organizations have the technical and financial wherewithal to achieve breakthroughs.

I am also intrigued by Toyota’s silence in coming out with EVs like the Nissan Leaf or Hyundai/Kia and wonder about where they are in their development of solid state batteries.

Some of them aren’t really breakthroughs. They’re “potential” breakthroughs. Indeed, even if we have a breakthrough, it will take some time to trickle down to vehicles.

Yawn. The dry electrode tech patents from Maxwell fits this headline far better. Plus I’ve never found a storage cell that has anywhere near the life of a good EV cell like Tesla, LG, A123, others are.
Tesla’s cells at 6C-8C depending on yr, already are capable of charging in 12 minutes, it is the rest of the charging system that needs upgrading.
LG/Volt modules are capable of 6 minute charging with room to spare at 16C.

I always associate Fast charging with extreme demand charges…

Ok, buffer it with battery… well next car you have to have battery recharged… and double battery losses.

“…could point to forthcoming advances in battery tech for the Silicon Valley automaker.”
What a useless statement, on par with Evannex crap.

Of course they “could” blah, blah…
Of course Tesla will continue to advance tech in all aspects of their products.

Real news is reporting what *IS* happening

So go away and don’t come back.
Problem. Solved.

What was the problem exactly? F150 Brian says – correctly – that this article is just a speculation, and not even a new one.

What he, I presume, is waiting for are real facts and figures. Which may take a while to get, because progress in science and engineering takes time and effort.

Reading comprehension much? Not so … I guess.

Real news. Ford is a flop.

This information has been out for a while. You should be offering a fresh viewpoint but this is simply a rehash of old news

Yup, old news (although potentially important).

From Februrary 1st:
mostly cut and paste article.

Furthermore, this is hardly a breakthrough. It’s merely a welcome evolution.

Tesla batteries already have amazing lifetime, and a Model 3 already charges at 500 miles/hr. For EVs, the only thing that’ll qualify as a breakthrough at this point (i.e. improve EV adoption) is a dramatic cost reduction.

When Tesla talks about batteries I think of the Roadster 2.0. I think they promised a range of 600 miles in a car that isn’t large enough to carry more than maybe 100 kWh of battery storage given current energy densities (kWh/cm^3 or whatever volume metric you prefer). The range estimates of the semi may also be relevant to my point because many people seem skeptical of the 500 mile range estimates. An energy density boost of maybe 50% would probably make these specs realistic (WAG on the percentage).

So either the specs are all hype, or they represent where Tesla thinks/plans they will be by the time of the car’s release. Reality is probably somewhere in the middle. This would be great news if Tesla didn’t have a track record of overly optimistic delivery schedules.

They haven’t put any delivery dates on either of those so I’m inclined to think you are right, the specs that they are quoting are assuming that they will ship with an advanced battery. Both vehicles are low volume and high priced so it’s possible that they could ship with batteries that come off of a prototype production line which would allow Tesla to use a new battery type a couple of years before it would be practical in high volume vehicle.

I agree. Tesla is most likely counting on these or other battery advances in the works to give their upcoming announced vehicles the range they advertised. They are probably counting on something similar to give Model 3 the cost they advertised.

Stack ’em. Solved.

Fine for a semi, or tall SUV but not for a low slung GT car (er, roadster).

Why ad new patents if the company really wanted to be able to share their tech with the world to accelerate the transition to sustainable and clean transportation? Why not publish it in a scientific journal and make it open source free to license?

They do share patents, which allows others to benefit. But they still want some say in how the patents are used. As much as Tesla is trying to accelerate the transition to renewable energy and sustainable transportation, they are also trying to make a profit.

if you don’t patent your creation……… others will claim they are the one who made it first and will sue you for money………….. better to patent your creation and share it to others……………..

It’s not a one way street with patents. How stupid would Tesla have to be to spend millions on research and development only to give there patents away without having an agreement the other party would also share in there patents.

I felt as soon as Tesla bought Maxwell it was because of the battery technology they have. Jeff Dahn and Musk know bringing EV’s and storage to the masses requires lower cost, faster charging times. Musk had been investing in Dahn work for some time. I believe in a year this new battery will be in production and be a game changer.

It needs to happen right now. The Jeff Dahn patent is about chemistry and the Maxwell patent is about manufacturing process. I think they are both needed and compatible. Timeline is really difficult to assess, presumably they built prototypes some time ago and only when judged successful would Tesla commit to purchasing Maxwell at $218M. Jeff Dahn’s patent was applied for about 1-1/2 years ago, only became public recently (Feb 1st when I first read about it). So I think that Elon’s excitement about Roadster 2 and Semi in last summer’s announcement is because of these two battery improvements. How else do you fit 200kwh battery into a sports car? A decision to go into production could have been made then.

Actually the Semi announcement was on November 2016, so it has been more than 2 years.

I would like to see supercapacitors used in vehicles. Imagine capacitors pulling energy very quickly – within a couple of minutes. The capacitors can then charge batteries when driving.

So it would seem that being 100% focused on EVs is turning out to be quite an advantage for Tesla….
It’s good to see Argonne National Laboratory is going to being research on recycling lithium batteries. Definitely something that needs to happen.

1. A patent is nothing but an idea, it does not represent, what is done or will be done. Most patents do not lead to any product. Patent applications are even worse.
2. Patents and patent applications are public, if you are happy with this kind of journalism go to any patent attorney and get a print out of Teslas applications.
3. Teslas knowledge in cell chemistries might not be as great as some of you think. Most of it might be Panasonics intelectual property. That is why they need Maxwell. Others have much more experience with NMC and solid electrolytes.

Tesla uses NCA batteries according to the article for there EV’s.

Yes and did you read the patent application?

I got fooled into clicking on an Evannexx article. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, I should’ve looked at who wrote the article.


I trust Jeff Dahn, the “battery boffin”. He probably has another incremental improvement that adds to the effort to make batteries more affordable and better performing. I doubt he’d be calling out huge gains here, but lets applaud Jeff and Tesla for plugging away and getting all those little improvements that eventually add up to big ones.