A senior executive at U.S. automaker General Motors said Tuesday that the company is “close to success” in developing an electric vehicle battery that has a life span of 1 million miles (about 1.6 million kilometers),media reported. Doug Parks, GM’s executive vice president, told an online investor conference that the company is also working on next-generation batteries that are more advanced than the new Ultium batteries released in March.
He did not specify a timetable for the introduction of “million-mile-long battery”, but said GM’s “multiple teams” were developing advanced technologies such as zero-cobalt electrodes, solid-state electrolytes and ultra-high-speed charging.
Electric car batteries are known to have a typical life span of 100,000 to 200,000 miles (160,000 to 320,000 kilometers). It follows reports that Tesla plans to partner with Chinese battery maker Ningde Era to launch a million-mile-long battery later this year or early next year.
The Ningde era supplied batteries to other carmakers and signed supply agreements with GM and its Chinese partner, Shanghai Auto.
In March, GM launched an advanced Ultium battery system. On Tuesday, the company said its $2.3 billion battery production joint venture with South Korean partner LG Chemical in Ohio would be named Ultium Cells LLC.
Adam Kwiatkowski, GM’s chief executive engineer for power propulsion systems, told another online investor meeting Tuesday that GM and LG Chem are looking for ways to reduce battery costs.
He said the partners were looking into a variety of initiatives, including investing in mines, hedging metal prices and working with metal smelters.
Mary Barra, GM’s chief executive, reiterated earlier this year that the company plans to sell 1m electric cars a year in the U.S. and China by 2025.