Dalhousie battery researchers have an exclusive agreement with Tesla for their lithium battery research. They presented research where batteries will be able to power an electric vehicle for over 1 million miles while losing less than 10 percent of its energy capacity during its lifetime. The group is led by physicist Jeff Dahn who is one of the world’s foremost lithium-ion researchers.
Ultra-long life batteries will greatly improve the economics of self-driving robotaxis and long-haul electric trucks. Current Tesla battery pack lifespan is about 300,000 to 500,000 miles. Long-haul electric trucks and robotaxis will have higher daily miles than your average commuter.
The research paper provides full details of these cells including electrode compositions, electrode loadings, electrolyte compositions, additives used, etc.
A former member of Dahn’s team told Wired that it is likely that Tesla already has at least one proprietary battery chemistry that outperforms what’s described in the benchmark paper. Indeed, shortly after the paper came out, Tesla received a patent for a lithium-ion battery that is remarkably similar to the one described in the paper.
Tesla Dalhousie battery researchers present a wide range of testing results on an excellent moderate-energy-density lithium-ion pouch cell chemistry to serve as benchmarks for academics and companies developing advanced lithium-ion and other “beyond lithium-ion” cell chemistries to (hopefully) exceed. These results are far superior to those that have been used by researchers modelling cell failure mechanisms and as such, these results are more representative of modern Li-ion cells and should be adopted by modellers. Up to three years of testing has been completed for some of the tests. Tests include long-term charge-discharge cycling at 20, 40 and 55°C, long-term storage at 20, 40 and 55°C, and high precision coulometry at 40°C. Several different electrolytes are considered in this LiNi0.5Mn0.3Co0.2O2/graphite chemistry, including those that can promote fast charging. The reasons for cell performance degradation and impedance growth are examined using several methods. We conclude that cells of this type should be able to power an electric vehicle for over 1.6 million kilometers (1 million miles) and last at least two decades in grid energy storage. The authors acknowledge that other cell format-dependent loss, if any, (e.g. cylindrical vs. pouch) may not be captured in these experiments.
Tesla Robotaxi Master Plan Details
Elon described costs and details of the master plan for a robotaxi fleet and service at Autonomy Day. Many are criticizing the full self-driving plan and do not believe it will be achieved or will be far, far later. The future of Tesla and the world will be massively impacted if this master plan succeeds or if it does not.
If it succeeds then Tesla makes billions. 1 million robotaxis making $30,000 per car per year for owners and similar amounts for Tesla would be $30 billion per year.
If would also mean about 50 billion robotaxi miles per year within a couple of years of successful full serlf-driving. Uber provided 26 billion miles of ridesharing in 2018.
In the USA, 3.22 trillion miles are driven on roads and there is about 12 trillion miles driven in the world.
Tesla makes their in-house chip for full self-driving. In 2020, they expect to have 1 million cars on the road with the hardware necessary for full self-driving and which could become robotaxis. They believe they will have the most profitable autonomous taxi on the market. Uber and Lyft lose a lot of money on ridesharing. Elon Musk says that a robotaxi using a full self-driving taxi will only cost 18 cents per mile.
The average Tesla car is parked for 22 hours per day. In 2020, owners will be able to use the Tesla app to their car to pick up and drop off passengers autonomously, earning an estimated 65 cents per mile in fares.
By Tesla’s estimates, owners might be able to earn $30,000 in gross revenue from their cars per year. This would be more than $300,000 in revenue over the 11-year lifespan of an average car.
Elon is saying Tesla cars will last 1 million miles. Tesla owners would need to give nearly 500,000 miles or ride at 65 cents per mile for Tesla car owners. Tesla would make more from their share of the robotaxi business and Tesla would have post-lease vehicles dedicated to the robotaxi fleet.
SOURCES- Elon Musk, Tesla, CNBC, Wired, The Journal of the Electrochemical Society
Written By Brian Wang, nextbigfuture.com