As spotted by Electrek, Tesla seems to have filed a patent that hints at a new longer-lasting battery with better performance and cheaper costs. The patent can be found at Wipo’s patentscope if you are curious about all the technical details. In either case, let us talk about what’s worth noting here.
The patent lists Jeffery Dahn (Tesla’s battery research partner) and his team as the inventors. For the specifics, the abstract of the patent mentions that it is an “improved” battery system based on two-additive electrolyte systems including 1,2,6-oxodithiane-2,2,6,6-tetraoxide.
These additives tend to improve the performance of Li-ion based batteries. The patent also describes the situation as follows:
Electrolyte additives have been shown to be operative and increase the lifetime and performance of Li-ion-based batteries. For example, in J. C. Burns et al., Journal of the Electrochemical Society, 160, A1451 (2013), five proprietary, undisclosed electrolyte additives were shown to increase cycle life compared to an electrolyte system with no or only one additive. Other studies have focused on performance gains from electrolyte systems containing three or four additives as described in U.S. 2017/0025706. However, researchers typically do not understand the interaction between different additives that allow them to work together synergistically with the electrolyte and specific positive and negative electrodes. Thus, the composition of additive blends of certain systems is often based on trial and error and cannot be predicted beforehand.
An improvement in the battery to last longer is crucial to electric cars. So, even though it is a patent by Tesla – we might see this being adopted by its competitors unless they come up with something better.
In addition to the increase in performance and lifetime of the battery, the patent also reveals that the new solution will be cheaper because of the two-additives system. Here’s what the patent describes about reducing costs:
This disclosure covers novel battery systems with fewer operative, electrolyte additives that may be used in different energy storage applications, for example, in vehicle and grid-storage. More specifically, this disclosure includes two-additive electrolyte systems that enhance performance and lifetime of Li-ion batteries, while reducing costs from other systems that rely on more additives. This disclosure also discloses effective positive electrodes and negative electrodes that work with the disclosed two-additive electrolyte systems to provide further systematic enhancements.
With the new patent in place, it looks like that Tesla is onto something serious here and we shall soon expect this to be implemented in the upcoming Tesla lineups (or iterations).
What’s your take on this? Let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.