Tesla has changed the field and scope of electric mobility around the world and has a sizable lead in the electric vehicle (EV) space in every major country where it has a presence. At a time when range and cost are two of the biggest factors that hinder the adoption of an EV, the company is gearing up to address both with a single shot through its 'million mile' battery.
While the battery has generated enormous interest and has been raved about endlessly even if it is currently not out in any of Tesla's electric cars, it could well be made commercially available as soon as 2021. And with rivals - some with decades of legacy and massive resources at their disposal, still playing catch up, the advanced battery could propel Tesla to an even more commanding lead.
Business Insider recently quoted a note from Wedbush Securities analysts Dan Ives and Strecker Backe to clients which further espoused just how the new Tesla battery could change the EV game all over again. "In our opinion this battery technology will be very advanced, potentially last for decades, withstand all types of weather/terrain, and be another major milestone for the Tesla ecosystem," Ives and Backe reportedly mentioned. "In theory, this battery will support an electric vehicle for 1 million miles and be a major step forward when competing vs. traditional gasoline-powered automotive competitors."
A battery is, quite obviously, the most expensive part of an EV. Over the past several years, the cost of these batteries have been coming down which has made EVs more affordable. Most, however, still remain out of reach of the middle-class in several countries and often require subsidies to be a more practical option against vehicles running on conventional fuels.
In countries like India which is still in the nascent stage of electric mobility, supporting infrastructure too remains a challenge, one that can be addressed by a battery that could potentially not need frequent charges.
As such, the 'million mile' battery from Tesla may address both these concerns. It could also be a water-shed moment for Tesla CEO Elon Musk who would perhaps be able to go head-on against cars using conventional fuel by offering a product that lasts the distance, costs as much - if not lower, and requires a whole lot less infrastructure support than even older generation EVs.
Tesla though is not the only one spearheading work on an advanced battery. Reuters recently reported that GM Executive Vice President Doug Parks confirmed 'multiple teams' are working on such advances as zero-cobalt electrodes, solid state electrolytes and ultra-fast charging. Reports suggest that the new battery could be even more advanced than the Ultium advanced battery system that was unveiled in March. (Full report here)
Clearly then, the race in electric mobility is not just about developing and launching new products but is also firmly targeted at the core component inside these. Rapid advancements in battery technology could possibly deal a death blow to automotive-grade fuel at a time when climate concerns are omnipresent.