New Tesla 1.6 million km battery would make electric as affordable as gasoline

The manufacturer is on the verge of revealing a lithium-ion battery whose lifespan would be equivalent to 1.6 million km. Its production cost would be lowered to the point of making future Tesla models almost as affordable as their petrol or diesel counterparts.

If Tesla is not likely to announce a new model this year and without cost for a while, there would still be a big surprise in preparation. Reuters says the automaker will take advantage of its “Battery Day” to reveal a brand new long- lasting, low-cost battery capable of supporting the equivalent of 1.6 million km of use. It would be integrated into the Tesla Model 3 sold in China by the end of the year or early 2021. The Battery Day is supposed to take place by the end of the month.

The Tesla Model 3 sold in China may soon become significantly cheaper.  © Tesla

This lithium-ion battery is not a revelation in itself. Futura already talked about it last September, when researchers at Dalhousie University (Canada) published an article describing innovative chemistry , including a cathode made up of larger lithium-nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) crystals. than those usually used. The use of additives and other components kept secret would help reduce the internal stress suffered by the battery during charge / discharge cycles while allowing it to store more energy longer.

Tesla Model 3 more affordable?

Dalhousie University has signed an exclusivity agreement with Tesla which has also collaborated with Contemporary Amperex Technology for the development of several types of batteries. According to Reuters, which quotes sources close to the manufacturer, one of these batteries would use only 20% of cobalt while another would have replaced this metal by lithiated iron phosphate.

By reducing its dependence on cobalt and using highly automated production, Tesla would be able to drastically lower costs. These batteries would be manufactured in a “Terafactory” factory described as “30 times larger” than the Gigafactory factory located in Nevada (United States). The low-cobalt version would be close to $ 100 per kWh, a cost at which experts agree that it allows electric cars to be almost on par with petrol or diesel models.

These new batteries would first be available in China where Tesla would like to use them to better compete with the fierce competition from local manufacturers by breaking the price of the Model 3 . The technology would then be extended to the rest of the international markets. All this is for the moment to be taken in the conditional, but the trajectory described fits well with the ambitions of Elon Musk .