Battery day is fast approaching. Speculations have been circulating that Elon Musk will divulge massive battery manufacturing breakthroughs in the shareholder’s meeting, aside from updates about Gigafactory construction, the Cybertruck, Roadster, and Semi.
With regards to the Tesla Semi, the battery capacity required is around 1 megawatt hours, tenfold of that of the Model S battery. Batteries are currently Tesla’s rate-limiting step in the mass production of the Semi, with all the energy requirements that the vehicle’s battery needs.
There are still doubts surrounding the feasibility of the Semi ever hitting the road. However, the introduction of the idea of the ‘million-mile battery’ is causing investors to look further into the transformation of logistics and transport from carbon-emitting to sustainable.
The concept of “million-mile battery” is somewhat misconstrued as the ability to run a million miles in one charge. But that is not really the case. As a matter of fact, the context behind it is long-term endurance. How many cycles of charging and discharging will it take before the battery begins to deteriorate?
CEO Elon Musk tweeted about Tesla’s openness to software licensing and the possibility of supplying battery packs, eliminating company rivalries, and pushing the fight toward sustainable living.
Solid State Batteries
The ‘state’ of the battery being referred to as solid is the electrolyte. The electrolyte is where the exchange of ions takes place as transmission between the cathode and anode happens. The liquid is the common state of an electrolyte being used in car batteries. It is usually preferred because there aren’t many obstacles in the manufacture of this particular kind of battery both financially and technically. However, the liquid electrolyte is flammable and therefore poses a safety hazard.
Solid state batteries are already being used in smaller electronic devices, but not much has been known about integrating it into larger-scale machinery which in this case, an electric vehicle. It does have a number of advantages over the liquid state, one being its energy density. Batteries like these have longer single-charge life, with faster charging times, not to mention, a whole lot safer to use.
This will be the ultimate replacement for the traditional lithium-ion battery packs. If this is really Tesla’s big reveal, then the EV giant is well on its way to going completely cobalt-free in their batteries.
It could be possible that Tesla may have already begun developing its million-mile battery, but whether or not it is the top priority of the company is yet to be affirmed. What we do know, is that Tesla is constantly working on developments that no other car manufacturer has yet come close to.