Last month, American electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) unveiled one of its newest product, a very pricey car battery. But this is not just your average car battery ; we’re talking Tesla after all! According to the automaker’s CTO, JB Straubel, the new car battery features vehicle-to-grid technology, which lengthens its lifespan dramatically. Tesla’s new electric vehicle [EV] battery works by utilizing old EV battery for stationary energy storage.
Just how long will one Tesla car battery last? Straubel revealed, “We expect 10 maybe 15-year life at a minimum from these batteries. And, you know, the degradation is not entirely linear.” Car batteries tend to degrade from repeated charging and discharging (cycle) and time.
When asked to elaborate on the technical side of making these long-lasting batteries, Straubel explained, “On the technical side, that comes in term of energy storage research; chemistry research, material science to make better batteries, and improve materials and reduce the cost. There’s a lot of room to improve there. It’s nowhere near the fundamental ceiling or physics limits yet. It’s an exciting and vibrant area.”
Tesla’s claims of longer battery life fly in the face of comments made by BMZ CEO Sven Bauer in 2013, which at that time, was the leading battery manufacturer in Europe. Bauer stated, “the battery life is not very long” for the battery cells Tesla uses, and that “they are never going to achieve 20 years’ battery life.”
Now it seems like Tesla does in fact, offer longer battery lifespan. However, Straubel did not clarify if the automaker’s newest battery will break down due to age or cycling. Bauer might’ve given an incorrect assumption that Tesla’s 18650 battery cells are similar to the 18650 battery cells used in consumer electronics products like notebooks.
According to the news source, Tesla’s batteries are passing tests after tests with flying colors. Even Tesla cars driven over 80,000 miles experienced very minimal battery degradation. That said, the results are not 100% accurate because some could suffer from self-selection bias. Still, testing results imply that Tesla’s battery is holding up better than your average car battery.
So, will a single Tesla battery last 10 to 15 years? No one knows for sure. There’s no way to tell how long the carmaker’s battery will last before its max capacity drops to 80% of the battery’s initial capacity. At the moment, Tesla is focusing on how to make these batteries accessible to their customers. Tesla batteries are notoriously pricey and Straubel admitted that cost is one of the company’s primary concerns.
“Cost is still the biggest challenge for greater adoption of electric vehicles, and it might not seem like the most S≡XY and exciting topic for innovation, but innovation that drives down cost is the focus, ” he explained in an International Transport Forum (ITF). The executive, along with other panelists, were in talks to promote pedestrian options as means to innovate in transportation.