Tesla Patents Million Mile Battery Electrolyte

We’ve known for some time that Tesla is working on a million mile battery. But with a newly revealed patent filing from Tesla, we’re now getting more details on how exactly Tesla will pull this off:

Tesla submitted the patent for “Dioxazolones and Nitrile Sulfites as Electrolyte Additives for Lithium-Ion Batteries” in August 2018. The patent is focused on improving the company’s rechargeable battery systems by adjusting the cells’ chemistry. 

The patent claims that the addition of electrolyte additives, like lithium salt, can drastically improve the longevity and performance of battery systems when combined with a nonaqueous solution. A nonaqueous solution does not include water as the solvent, but rather another liquid.

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The fact that they applied for this patent in August of 2018 gives you a sense for how long they’ve been working on this technology, and how close it is to production.

Tesla recognizes that increased temperatures are detrimental to the lifespan of a battery system. In a previous patent, Tesla outlined a cooling system that could lead to longer-lasting energy storage systems. While heat is unavoidable as it is a key player in the use of lithium-ion batteries, especially when owners of Tesla vehicles are operating in performance modes, engineers realize the solvents and solutions could be a way to improve performance and lifespan without significantly increasing cost.

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This is a little bit over my head, but better batteries sound great. This new technology would be used for electric vehicles and utility scale battery storage.

At Tesla’s Autonomy Day in April 2019, Elon Musk promised owners that the company would soon power its vehicles for upwards of one million miles over the span of the vehicle’s life. While the claim seemed enthusiastic and somewhat unrealistic, critics soon realized Tesla may be closer to this than many think. In September, a team of researchers led by Jeff Dahn at Dalhousie University published a research paper that claimed they had developed a lithium-ion battery capable of one million miles of driving, or 20 years of use in an energy-storage system.

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That’s right: In case you forgot, Elon suggested at Autonomy Day in April that the million-mile battery could enter production in 2020. That would be huge, groundbreaking news as Autopilot matures and Tesla prepares to put its first Robotaxis on the road.

Here’s a clip of Elon mentioning the million-mile battery at Autonomy Day:

Tesla’s battery technology continues to advance thanks to developments from its engineers. It appears Tesla is aiming to create a line of products that will last decades. In terms of automobiles, it would be groundbreaking to have a car that could run for 20 or 30 years with relatively no annual maintenance. Convenience, performance, and longevity are three things Tesla’s products are aimed toward, and the patent for an advanced and more affordable battery system thanks to an electrolyte solvent could alleviate any concerns some owners may have.

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I’m buying one as soon as it goes on sale.

A newly revealed Telsa patent filing from August 2018 lends credibility to @elonmusk ‘s claim that a million mile battery could enter production next year.

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2 thoughts on “Tesla Patents Million Mile Battery Electrolyte

  1. I wish news authors would stick to writing about stuff they actually understand… That Teslarati article is grotesquely bad. Literally every single mass-produced lithium-ion battery in existence uses an electrolyte consisting of a lithium salt in a non-aqueous solvent along with some additives. This patent simply discusses some particular chemicals as additives — one of many many incremental improvements from many many researches at many many organisations, that ultimately lead to more robust batteries over time…

    (As for the other patent mentioned, I’m pretty sure that’s the same one Fred wrote about one and a half years ago, around the time the first Model 3 battery tear-downs came out — though apparently he forgot all about it, since he reported it as “news” again a few weeks ago as well…)

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