Tesla is one step closer to producing a battery that can last one million miles (1.6 million km), in a bid to make CEO and founder Elon Musk’s plan to use Model 3s as “robo-taxis” economically viable.
It’s a bold plan, not least because Musk has said there will a million such robo-taxis on the road by 2020.
In April, Musk said that while the Model 3 is designed to last a million miles, its current batteries are not and significant improvements were needed to reduce battery wear and the consequent financial costs – particularly for an electric taxi that might drive hundreds of miles – or kilometres – a day.
A week later, at an invite-only autonomy day held by the Californian EV maker at Palo Alto in April, Musk said that Tesla had something in the pipeline that could achieve this milestone.
“The new battery pack that is probably going to production next year is designed explicitly for 1 million miles of operation,” Musk said.
In a paper published on Friday in the Journal of Electrochemistry, a team that includes Canadian academic Jeff Danh from the University of Dalhousie, and who also leads Tesla’s battery research group, said it had singled out a type of battery cell that could handle the demanding conditions of long-term day-in, day-out, battery usage by taxis.
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