Tesla reportedly readying "million-mile" battery with Chinese partner

Tesla reportedly readying

Tesla reportedly readying "million-mile" battery with Chinese partner

Tesla is getting closer to unveiling its first-ever "million mile" auto battery. This will enable batteries to store more energy for longer periods.

The researchers from Dalhousie University have an exclusive agreement with Tesla, and they reported that they had designed battery cells with higher energy density without using the solid-state electrolyte that many believe is a necessary condition for enhanced density. Expected to arrive with the Model 3 first in China either later this year or early next year, this new battery pack will also have second and third lives in the electric power grid.

But equally important is a new alliance between Tesla and Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd. (CATL) that is making those advances commercially viable while promoting new cell-to-pack technology that reduces the size, weight, and cooling requirements for EV battery packs. Cobalt, one of the most expensive metals for batteries, is a key reason why EVs are still more expensive than vehicles with internal combustion engines.

Tesla's lithium-ion battery technology is already the envy of the automotive industry, and the company may be moving even further into the lead soon.

Battery capacity and production costs has always been a limiting factor in terms of the manufacturing costs of electric vehicles, and is one big reason EVs carry a price premium when sold to customers.

While the new batteries will start in China, sources claim Tesla will roll them out to other regions, but that might not happen until there are improved versions with better capacity and stability. CATL's low-cobalt NMC battery packs have nearly reached that magic $100/kWh number.

The cost of CATL's cobalt-free lithium iron phosphate battery packs has fallen below $80 per kilowatt-hour, with the cost of the battery cells dropping below $60/kWh, the sources said.

The 100$/kWh or million-mile battery is said to rely on NMC chemistry with little cobalt. It's also developing new recycling technologies for the components in its batteries so that its vehicle power sources can eventually be used across its other energy products to extend their useful life.

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