What does the 1 million km battery mean for the electric vehicle market?

Tram Ho

Everyone who uses cell phones knows that after about a year the battery will start to bottle and need to charge more. It’s a nuisance, but you can easily replace the battery for a fairly cheap phone, or resell it to buy a different phone from the latest model.

However, electric cars are not that simple. The investment is much larger, and the battery is also the most expensive part (about 30% of the car’s value). In addition to the risk of a car stalling in the middle of the road, a bottle of a battery will quickly degrade the car if you want to resell it.

To reassure buyers, electric vehicle manufacturers often have a battery warranty policy. The duration is usually 8 years or about 200,000 km. But they are planning to multiply the number. Zeng Yuqun, the boss of Contemporary Amperex Technology, a giant Chinese conglomerate that produces batteries for several major electric vehicle companies in the world, in June announced its readiness to produce batteries with longevity. 16 years or 2 million km.

Elon Musk also signaled that Tesla is developing a battery that runs 1 million miles. General Motors is in the final stages of developing battery technology that enables similar endurance.

George Crabtree, director of the Energy Storage Research Center at the Argonne National Research Institute, says “a battery that runs 1 million kilometers is a big breakthrough, but it’s not the most remarkable thing .” If you do not take care of the car carefully, the battery will drop down faster. Frequent fast charging, too long charging, or shutting down power also reduces battery life. Using a car in extreme weather is the same. So the bottom line of the 1 million km battery is that the accompanying technologies allow to deal with all of this.

The Li-ion batteries that power electric vehicles reduce their lifespan in two ways: over time and by use. Over time, the materials in the battery will be wasted, reducing the ability to charge. The bottle battery due to use is the result of many discharges – recharges, due to the complicated chemical reactions that occur when the battery is active, but the same process helps the battery to store and release energy. .

Battery life is determined by a number of factors, not only depending on how the battery is used, but also how the battery is made. The battery industry has a few rules. Once the capacity of the battery drops below 80% of its original level, it is no longer safe to use in electric vehicles. Some estimates that on average Li-ion batteries will lose 2% of their capacity per year. The number is quite small but it also means that if an electric car has been used for 6 years, it would have reached half its life.

Battery technology is always improving, and manufacturers see it as vital. GM is working with LG Chem of Korea to develop an Ultium battery that will allow electric cars to run for 650km (the current average figure is around 400km).

If you consider it a marketing tool, the 1 million miles of batteries will help electric car buyers feel more confident. But there are also people who really want such batteries. Perhaps in the future cars will not stop as means of transport. There are plans to develop technology so that car owners can connect their cars to the electrical wiring system so that excess electricity is generated during windy times and sunlight is stored. and broadcast during peak demand hours. Vehicle owners will be charged a fee to do that.

And if humans can find technologies to produce batteries that have very long lifespans, the story will change. From where the first part of the car breaks down, the battery will be the longest lasting component.

See The Economist

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Source : Genk