Tesla has been one of the leading automobile companies which have been solely working on accelerating the transformation of the world to sustainable energy. It is the leading industry when it comes to making the best out of lithium-ion batteries in Electric Vehicles (EVs). They aim to reach a broader market by making more powerful and affordable batteries for their EVs. This latest move of Tesla can bring about a revolutionary change in the pricing, quality, and availability of Tesla’s Electric Vehicles.
Tesla is gearing up to launch a long-rumored, new cost-effective million-mile battery for its Electric Vehicles (EVs) that will have a longer lifespan than the ones found in today’s EVs made by Tesla and others. Is it happening, and how far has Tesla come to make it viable is described in this article. But first, what is this million-mile battery?
What is a Million Mile Battery?
Well, one must get puzzled with the term million-mile battery. The fact behind innovating this new battery is to push the boundaries consumers face with most electric car batteries these days. For example, now Tesla Model 3 can last 120000 miles before it requires battery replacement even after being so expensive. But the million-mile battery that Elon Musk is expecting is supposed to last for 1 million miles or more before it can no longer retain a charge substantial enough to fuel up an electric automobile. A million-mile battery does not mean that it will drive about a million miles between every recharge, which is pretty absurd. However, the new batteries would also require regular recharges every few hundred miles to keep the cars running.
Tesla’s Goal for Battery
At the Battery Day, Elon Musk revealed the new type of cell labeled as ‘4680’-million-mile battery which is 10 mm longer and doubles the diameter of the battery cell used in most of the Tesla cars now. The last Electric vehicle that Tesla released was Model 3, which is capable of running approximately 315 miles on a single charge. On the contrary, Elon Musk is expecting his new million-mile battery to run more than that per charge (approximately more than 400 miles). The Wall Street Journal had been buzzing about the difference that Tesla’s next-generation batteries could make right after Elon Musk talked up about new battery technology development at Tesla’s first-ever Battery Day on September 22nd, 2020.
Even before the ‘Battery Day’, Tesla Inc. received government approval to manufacture lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries instead of lithium-ion for Model 3 in China. The basic difference in these batteries is they do not require Cobalt, which is one of the rare and expensive materials found in lithium-ion. This existence of the Cobalt element in Lithium-ion batteries usually leads to a significant increase in the cost of EVs, according to the CFRA research analyst Garnett Nelson. This is why Elon Musk wants to eliminate Cobalt from battery production while reducing the cost and increasing the lifespan of EVs.
Elon Musk stated at the most anticipated annual meeting that the innovations required to launch the new low-cost battery are still in progress. Musk also told Tesla shareholders that three additional batteries are under development: iron phosphate for medium-range vehicle use and stationary power supply applications, nickel-manganese for medium-plus, and high-nickel for long-range applications like Cybertruck.
These advancements in battery production can eventually reduce battery costs by more than half. Besides, it will increase the overall mileage Tesla’s vehicles can travel now. These changes would pave the way for Tesla to produce a “compelling” $25000 EV in 2023. Elon Musk also stated it quite clear that this new price point of Tesla’s electric vehicles is the outcome of Tesla’s revolutionary battery cell and battery production endeavor. This hint caught the eye of everyone from the Battery Day event. However, currently, they are facing problems to accomplish their motive of bringing this new low-cost battery. But the quest to bring a million-mile battery can be the key to future growth.
Tesla’s Deal with CATL could be the key to Million Mile Battery
Perhaps, yes. Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd. (CATL), China’s car battery manufacturing giant, is the key emerging battery supplier for Tesla. CATL said in June 2020, that they are about to create a product, which will have a 16-year lifespan and can power up an electric vehicle over 1.2 million miles. However, they haven’t mentioned who they are going to supply or whether anyone is interested in purchasing the battery. Besides, CATL signed the deal of battery supply this year with Tesla for 2022 up to 2025. Although no public announcement has been made whether it is CATL to supply a million-mile battery to Tesla, it is one of the significant reasons Tesla could launch Model 3 sedans in the China market at a reasonable price. It eventually concludes that the million-mile battery may exist, and it is still in progress.
Tesla isn’t the only company now that is focused on developing battery technology. European car manufacturing companies like Volkswagen and Stelantis, the sleeping giant of EVs, have awoken to refocus on batteries and electric vehicles. They are also working with local European battery suppliers to innovate usual lithium batteries. That is why Tesla needs to consider this matter and develop the new battery technology and integrate them in the upcoming electric vehicles.
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