In April of this 2019, during the First Day of the Autonomy of Tesla, Elon Musk announced that they were working on electric cars that would have new batteries capable of giving a useful life beyond one and a half kilometers.
In September of this year, a team of researchers from the University of Dalhousie of Nova Scotia, in Canada, led by Jeff Dahn, published an investigation where they claimed to have developed a lithium-ion battery capable of having a lifespan of more than one million and a half kilometers and more than 4,000 charge cycles, or 20 years of use within an energy storage system.
The detail is that the Dalhousie University team has been working exclusively for Tesla since 2016, so everything pointed out that this development would be for the Elon Musk company.
Now, Electrek got a patent filed by Tesla in August 2018, which focuses on new chemistry for the development of its lithium-ion batteries. The funny thing is that this information coincides with the research of Dalhousie University and offers more details of this mysterious battery.
New chemistry to give life to more durable and cheaper batteries
The patent, currently filed in both the United States and other countries in the world, has not yet been granted to Tesla, but it shows us interesting data on how they plan to solve several of the problems offered by current batteries in electric cars.
The key is in chemistry since by means of numerous electrolytic additives it is sought to increase the longevity and performance of its lithium-ion cells. The patent is called “Dioxazolones and nitrile sulphites as electrolytic additives for lithium-ion batteries” and broadly presents an adjustment in the chemical components of the cells.
The patent explains that the new mixture of two additives in an electrolytic solvent can be used with lithium nickel manganese cobalt compounds, also known as NMC battery chemistry. Interestingly, some manufacturers already use NMC batteries in electric cars, but not Tesla, who continues to use NCA (lithium nickel cobalt aluminium oxide) batteries. The NMC uses it today in its energy storage systems.
A rumor mentions that Tesla is already switching to these NCM battery cells for the Model 3 that it is manufacturing in China, although there is still no official confirmation.
Another detail discussed in the patent is the addition of lithium salt to dramatically improve the longevity and performance of battery systems when combined with “a non-aqueous solution.” Said “non-aqueous solution” does not include water as a solvent, but another liquid that is not specified.
All these chemical changes would also help to make the cooling system more efficient, since the temperature increase is today one of the most damaging factors for the life of a battery.
According to the information, all these changes would allow to increase the autonomy of the batteries, reduce the risk of overheating, only lose about 10% of their charging capacity, would be cheaper and their useful life would be much greater than what is currently in the market.
Come on, if true we would be having a dream battery that would revolutionize the market. Best of all, Elon Musk says we won’t have to wait long since we’ll see it in 2020.