Tesla CEO Elon Musk plans to introduce a new low-cost, long-life battery in its Model 3 sedan in China later this year or early next that it expects will bring the cost of electric vehicles in line with gasoline models. The new battery technology will also allow EV batteries to have second and third lives in the electric power grid.
For months, Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk has been teasing investors, and rivals, with promises to reveal significant advances in battery technology during a “Battery Day” in late May.
New, low-cost batteries designed to last for a million miles of use and enable electric Teslas to sell profitably for the same price or less than a gasoline vehicle are just part of Musk’s agenda, people familiar with the plans told Reuters.
With a global fleet of more than 1 million electric vehicles that are capable of connecting to and sharing power with the grid, Tesla’s goal is to achieve the status of a power company, competing with such traditional energy providers as Pacific Gas & Electric and Tokyo Electric Power, those sources said.
The new “million mile” battery at the center of Tesla’s strategy was jointly developed with China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd (CATL) and deploys technology developed by Tesla in collaboration with a team of academic battery experts recruited by Musk, three people familiar with the effort said.
Tesla’s new batteries will rely on innovations such as low-cobalt and cobalt-free battery chemistries, and the use of chemical additives, materials and coatings that will reduce internal stress and enable batteries to store more energy for longer periods, sources said.
A number of the technical advances made by Tesla and CATL in battery chemistry and design originated at a small research lab at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The lab has been run since 1996 by Jeff Dahn, a pioneer in the development of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and grid storage.
MacDailyNews Take: With “new battery technology,” we’ve been teased more times than RuPaul’s wig. Hopefully, within a couple of weeks, we’ll get to see some real, working battery advances from Musk!