The research department of the US car manufacturer Tesla has published the first information on a new type of battery concept that should enable a service life of up to 100 years. This would significantly reduce one of the biggest problems in terms of sustainability in electric vehicles, battery disposal.
Tesla partners with university
Together with one of the world’s most renowned experts in battery systems, Jeff Dahn, Tesla has tackled the challenge of how to produce more sustainable energy storage. Dahn works at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. Tesla is sponsoring an advanced battery research department to capitalize on Dahn’s expertise in the field. Dahn has been credited with the commercial success of lithium-ion batteries after working to extend their lifespan.
Sticking point energy density
Energy density is the amount of energy that can be stored in a unit volume of fuel. This is an important metric for an electric vehicle as it determines range. A battery with a lower energy density will require a larger battery pack to travel a given distance. Conversely, a battery with higher energy density would take up less space in the car while alleviating range fears associated with electric vehicles.
Energy density is to be increased thanks to new battery chemistry
Dahn’s work in this area has resulted in a number of patents for Tesla. A recent article published in the Journal of The Electrochemical Society details a new type of battery cell that could be vastly superior to the Li-ion cells currently in use.
The article reports a battery chemistry that uses nickel in its mixture, achieving high energy density that can ensure longer range for electric vehicles. Interestingly, these batteries also show longer lifespans than Li-ion batteries when charged at different temperatures.
In a hypothetical situation where the battery is constantly used at a temperature of 25 degrees, the battery life could be more than 100 years, the publication says. It’s hardly a surprise, then, that Tesla recently decided to extend its association with Dahn’s group until 2026.