Tesla's battery tech set to take a quantum leap forward.
There's no shortage of tech startups on the scene – even in the mobility sector – touting themselves as "disruptive." But if there's any company that's proven capable of truly shaking things up, it's Tesla. And a big part of that comes down to its battery technology, which may have just taken another huge leap forward.
According to Forbes, Tesla – together with physicists from Dalhousie University in eastern Canada – has filed a patent for a new type of battery chemistry that could bring it that much closer to its promise of a "million-mile battery pack."
Now before you get too excited about the prospect of driving the equivalent of circumnavigating the globe 40 times before ever having to recharge, we should point out that Elon Musk's "million-mile" pledge doesn't refer to driving range. It's about battery longevity. The batteries in Tesla's current vehicles have a lifespan of around 300,000-500,000 miles, meaning that they can last a good thousand to two thousand recharge cycles before they need to be replaced.
That may be good enough for the average American who drives an average of 13,500 miles each year. But it's not good enough for commercial truck drivers, who average 100,000-150,000 miles per year.
That's where the new battery tech comes in. The patent is for "Dioxazolones And Nitrile Sulfites As Electrolyte Additives For Lithium-Ion Batteries" that could significantly extend the lifecycles of the NCA (nickel cobalt aluminum) batteries Tesla has used in everything from the Model S to the new Cybertruck and the NMC (nickel manganese cobalt) batteries it uses in its stationary energy-storage systems.
Whether the new tech is enough to double or triple the lifecycles of Tesla's existing batteries and fulfill the promise of the "million-mile battery pack," we don't know. But if it is, Musk's dream of deploying fleets of autonomous robo-taxis and long-haul electric trucks could become a reality sooner than expected.