Tesla CEO Elon Musk says that the automaker is working on a new battery pack to come out next year which will last 1 million miles.
When talking about the economics of Tesla’s future fleet of robotaxis at the Tesla Autonomy Event yesterday, Musk emphasized that the vehicles need to be durable in order for the economics to work:
“The cars currently built are all designed for a million miles of operation. The drive unit is design, tested, and validated for 1 million miles of operation.”
But the CEO admitted that the battery packs are not built to last 1 million miles.
Just a week ago, Musk said that they built Model 3 to last as long as a commercial truck, a million miles, and the battery modules should last between 300,000 miles and 500,000 miles.
At the time, he also said that Tesla plans to provide battery module replacements.
Now, Musk added that there’s a new Tesla battery pack coming that will last as long as the rest of the vehicles:
“The new battery pack that is probably going to production next year is designed explicitly for 1 million miles of operation.”
The CEO said that they are optimizing every aspect of the cars, including the tires, in order to achieve minimal maintenance to create an “hyper-efficient” electric robotaxi.
With Tesla still being relatively young for an automaker, we have a limited set of data to look into the longevity of Tesla’s vehicles.
Early data about Tesla battery degradation show less than 10% reduction in energy capacity after over 160,000 miles, but that’s about all we have.
It’s pretty good, but 1 million miles is a whole new level.
We know that Tesla has been focusing its battery research on longevity for a while now.
Earlier this year, we reported on Tesla’s battery research group led by Jeff Dahn in Halifax applying for a patent that describes a new battery cell chemistry that would result in faster charging and discharging, better longevity, and even lower cost.
The battery technology that Tesla is trying to get through its acquisition of Maxwell could also potentially result in longevity improvements.
What Elon is saying now might be the result of some of those recent advancements in battery technology starting to be implemented by Tesla.
What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.
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