Major suppliers of electric car makers such as Tesla and Volkswagen insist that batteries with electric vehicles capable of supporting millions of miles of continuous driving are ready to go into production, according tomedia reports, which may address one of drivers’ lingering concerns about electric vehicles. While concerns about range remain a major short-term issue for electric car owners, uncertainty about the battery life of electric vehicles is another long-term problem.
Currently, the battery’s warranty varies from automaker to car manufacturer: in Tesla’s case, the warranty is eight years or 100,000 to 150,000 miles, whichever comes first, and guarantees at least 70 percent battery capacity. Audi’s e-tron SUV and Nissan’s Leaf offer an eight-year or 100,000-mile battery warranty.
As the most expensive component in an electric vehicle, and often the most chemicals to deal with after use, making more durable batteries has been a goal for the electric vehicle industry and its suppliers. This poses challenges in terms of power density, but Chinese company Ningde Times New Energy Technology Co., Ltd. (CATL) says it has solved the problem.
Zeng Yuqun, the company’s chairman, told Bloomberg that the company had developed a battery that could be used for 16 years or 2 million kilometers (1.24 million miles). “If someone orders, we’re ready to produce, ” he said firmly, but said he would not sign any supply contracts. CATL already provides batteries to Tesla’s Model 3, which is produced and sold in China, as well as for companies such as BMW and Toyota.
Unsurprisingly, Mr Zeng said the “million-mile” battery was more expensive than the battery pack of most electric cars today. But the CALT chairman points out that the gap is only about 10 per cent.
Many might think that such a premium is worth it: on the one hand, a longer-lived battery pack can be used for two cars in a row without the driver having to accept a significant reduction in mileage due to a dramatic reduction in capacity;
How to deal with these batteries has become a recurring issue in the automotive industry. One possibility is to use them for fixed energy storage, usually by building a facility to absorb excess green energy generated by solar, wind or other methods.