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Tesla research partner develop a lithium ion battery which could power vehicles for over a million miles

  • Publish Date: Posted almost 2 years ago
  • Author: Rebekah Valero-Lee

Tesla research partner develop a lithium ion battery which could power vehicles for over a million miles


  INDUSTRY NEWS | 2 MIN READ

  • Canadian researchers employed by Tesla have developed a new lithium-ion battery that could power vehicles for over a million miles while losing less than 10% of its energy capacity.

  •  Different types of battery have used various lithium compounds to achieve good characteristics, and Dahn has been investigating a material known as NMC - a lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide that has been used by many electric vehicle manufacturers including Nissan and Chevrolet, but as yet, not by Tesla.

Canadian researchers employed by Tesla have developed a new lithium-ion battery that could power vehicles for over a million miles while losing less than 10% of its energy capacity.

The researchers are from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia and are led by Jeffrey Dahn, who has an exclusive agreement with Tesla.

The Canadian electrochemical researchers published a paper in the Journal of the Electrochemical Society where they reported a range of testing results for new batteries which they claim can be used as a benchmark for other researchers looking into similar technologies. The team have taken an innovative approach and use cathode. Different types of battery have used various lithium compounds to achieve good characteristics, and Dahn has been investigating a material known as NMC - a lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide that has been used by many electric vehicle manufacturers including Nissan and Chevrolet, but as yet, not by Tesla.

Tesla research partner develop a lithium ion battery which could power vehicles for over a million miles

The components don’t seem to vastly differ from the compositions that other battery makers are using. However, Dahn has taken a different approach to the structure of the NMC cathode. Rather than using many small crystals, the research team used larger single crystals which are less likely to develop cracks as the battery cycles through charged and discharged states.

While other battery researchers have focussed their efforts on improving the energy density of batteries, Dahn’s team are instead looking at improving the overall lifetime of the battery, which would make it more suitable for applications such as long-haul electric trucks and robotic taxis.

Currently, a Tesla battery pack will last for around 300,000 to 500,000 miles, which is not enough for the more demanding journeys. The batteries described in the research paper can manage around 4000 charges which are four times as many as current commercial batteries.

Doron Aurbach, JEC batteries and storage technical editor commented:

“Since the goal of the study was to provide a reliable benchmark and reference for Li-ion battery technology, the specific energy density of the batteries described is not the highest compared to what can be really reached by advanced Li-ion batteries. Based on the study, Li-ion batteries will soon be developed that make driving over 500km (over 300 miles) from charge to charge possible,”

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