Tesla Battery Team Announcement Is Just Another Milestone On The Way To A Better Energy Future
- Sep 12, 2019 12:11 am GMT
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This week, the Tesla battery team led by guru Jeffrey Dahn out of Dalhousie University released a paper in the Journal of the Electrochemical Society. The paper stated that the team had identified and tested - for up to three years - an "Excellent Lithium-Ion Cell Chemistry." The paper went on to discuss the fact that it had tested several different electrolytes...in this LiNi0.5Mn0.3Co0.2O2/graphite chemistry," and noted "We conclude that cells of this type should be able to power an electric vehicle for over 1.6 million kilometers (1 million miles) and last at least two decades in grid energy storage."
The big if (as is the case with any new technology announcement) is whether the battery can be produced and commercialized at scale. But if it's not this particular chemistry, it will be something else.
The announcement reminds us once again that materials science (the making of better stuff, if you will) is at the heart of the multi-trillion dollar global emerging energy economy. It's why in the race against conventional generation, the alternatives are destined to win.
At the end of the day, the future evolution of the grid will be dictated by four key elements: regulatory decisions (the rules of the sandbox); economics (whether the technologies and business models are robust enough to survive and thrive); information technology (the flow of bits and bytes that will securely control and optimize assetson the grid within the context of the what, when, where, and how much); and materials technology (whether we burn it, harvest from wind, sun, or water, and ship it - the creation and movement of electrons has to do with fundamental chemistry and physics).
Even as this announcement thrills us today (one million miles!) it will be old news in a few years as we continuously leverage better and stronger computers - yoked to the human mind - to create better materials and design and integrate superior energy technologies. Tesla's tech will be just one more milestone on the road as we propel ourselves into a better, cleaner, and more sustainable energy future.