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How long before the 2170 battery becomes obsolete?

How long before the 2170 battery becomes obsolete?

I was watching NOVA on PBS about battery technology titled Search for Super Battery. They showed a pretty impressive battery developed by a Tufts Uviversity professor - Mike Zimmerman, that uses a plastic in place of electrolyte and uses lithium metal instead of lithium ion thus doubling energy density.
Question is, how soon will this obsolete the current li-ion batteries? What does this mean for current Tesla buyers?

bmalloy0 | February 23, 2017

There are so many factors in things like this. For example, cost/kwh is one of the primary driving forces behind the widespread use of Li-Ion batteries, and Tesla is knocking on the wall dividing cost comparability with ICE-vehicles. No other battery texhnology is anywhere close to being as cheap as Li-Ion at the moment, or even for the foreseeable future

akgolf | February 23, 2017

I saw the same show and that was pretty impressive. I'm sure if it's viable large scale, we'll see it in the future.

Woodsonpd | February 23, 2017

10 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours 13 minutes and 49 seconds

janendan | February 23, 2017

I think the solid state lithium is next, and the electrochemistry is continually evolving as research tries to optimize performance. Tesla is not going to spill the secret sauce changes.

Efontana | February 23, 2017

2170 is a form factor, determined by hear transfer and safety benefits. Many different chemistries can be packaged in that form factor.

topher | February 24, 2017

As with solar panels, I have seen many new battery technologies announced with great fanfare, perhaps 1 in 50 makes it to market. Energy density although important, is not the only deciding characteristic for any chemistry. Cars require many characteristics and are thus a tough application for batteries. Twice the energy density is unlikely to be used if it means twice the charging rate, half the lifespan, or three times the cost.

Thank you kindly.

TeslaTap.com | February 24, 2017

Reliability is also a major concern. The car's environment is quite harsh. A suitable automotive grade cell must tolerate and work with high vibration, shock and temperature extremes.

With the amount of research and efforts being expended, there will be new breakthroughs, but expect at least 2-5 years to see a successful cell candidate that has already passed all the tests (including longevity testing) before it is used in a vehicle. Tesla has been working on the GF for over two years, and it is just starting to produce cells in volume - without using any new cell breakthroughs that we know of.

topher | February 25, 2017

"Reliability is also a major concern."

Yes, please. 'High energy density' is just a geeky way of saying 'bomb'.

Thank you kindly.

dd.micsol | February 25, 2017

From a testing/designing/developing standpoint it's safe to say 5 yrs. MIT nerd info.

Red Sage ca us | February 25, 2017

Obsolete...?

In the Laboratory: Probably already.

For high dollar value military applications/space exploration: Probably already.

For retail consumer applications: Probably not for at least a couple/three decades.

Haggy | February 25, 2017

Obsolete? Not for the life of the vehicle and long after. "Obsolete" means fallen out of general use. A typewriter is obsolete. Last year's smartphone is not. Also, obsolete is a generic term. You wouldn't say that a 1965 Chevy is obsolete. It's a car and cars are not obsolete. That particular model might be rare but if it functions perfectly as a car, it's not obsolete. A car from 1915 that can't drive at freeway speeds is obsolete. It would no longer work as a car for the intended purpose of a car as we now expect them to work.

disproportionate | February 25, 2017

I don't think it changes anything for current Tesla buyers. If the current battery offerings give you the range you want- then the car will satisfy your needs, if it doesn't, then don't buy.

If you don't go by that standard, then you'll be forever waiting for the technology that's just around the corner.

I'd love it if the next Supercharger tech was ready by the time I get my car, so I could charge in 10min instead of 30. But I won't wait for it because it won't have a big enough impact on 90% of my driving.

Carl Thompson | February 25, 2017

topher wrote:

"Yes, please. 'High energy density' is just a geeky way of saying 'bomb'."

That's inaccurate, misleading and inflammatory (pun intended). The term 'bomb' implies an extremely rapid, uncontrolled release of energy in a destructive fashion. Obviously, electric vehicle battery packs are designed specifically not to do any of that. Further, your strange notion that "energy density" is a key characteristic of bombs is incorrect. As we know from the news a while back a truck loaded with a few tons of fertilizer can be an effective bomb. A Briefcase full of explosives of the same total energy potential wouldn't be a more effective bomb just because it had an "energy density" many times greater. It would just be easier to transport.

And you also ignore what should be obvious: the "energy density" of an internal combustion engine vehicle's fuel tank is many times greater than that of even the densest electric car battery packs today. For example, Car and Driver estimates the Model S battery pack to be "roughly five feet wide, eight feet long, and four inches thick." That's roughly more than 20,000 cubic inches or more than 80 US gallons. The most dense battery Tesla currently has crams 335 car-miles of energy into that 80+ gallons of space. Since an ICE vehicle can fit the same 335 car-miles of energy into just 12 or so gallons of space then by your logic every ICE car on the road is a several times worse bomb threat simply because that energy is packed into a smaller tank, right?

Finally I'll also point out that electric car battery packs are made up of hundreds of sealed individual cells which pretty much eliminates the risk of a cascade failure that could result in an uncontrolled release of a significant portion of the pack's stored energy within a short period of time. Sure we've seen cascade failures that progress over a few hours to a couple of weeks to become fires. But I think a few hours to 2 weeks is plenty of time for even the slowest person to exit a crashed vehicle after an accident. Contrast that with ICE vehicle where all of that gasoline is stored in one big tank that by design has an opening to the outside world. One small leak anywhere in it during an accident and all that gasoline is in a puddle right under you and there is a very high chance that you'll be the guest of honor at a side of the road car-b-que.

(To be fair there is more potential energy than just the stored electricity that can be released if a battery cell is severely damaged. The electrolyte used in lithium ion batteries is itself flammable so that could add to the potential energy release in an accident. But for the design reasons above it's still much, MUCH safer than an ICE vehicle's fuel tank.)

Carl

JeffreyR | February 25, 2017

@Carl you need to read @topher's comment as not too serious. Think shorthand for "the batter packs a wallop!"

Have you read my "Gigafactory Rebuttal" post?

Might interest you. Someone at [Sinking Anchor] was doubting the Gigafactory was a good idea and it "made" me write my OP. I'll post a link below.

Carl Thompson | February 26, 2017

Hi Jeffrey, I wasn't too serious either. Just bored and wrote my post more as a mental exercise while I dream about getting my hands on a Model 3.

I took a look at your SA rebuttal post and I found it interesting. But I'm not sure why you suggested I read it? Is there a connection I'm missing? And I'm not sure why you'd read anything by SA in the first place. As you allude in your post it's generally all sensationalistic garbage written solely to get clicks from those foolish enough to be sucked in by their headlines...

ddrmadness | February 26, 2017

I'm just waiting for the research done at UC Irvine to become commercially viable where they created a battery that almost never loses charge capacity (during research they sent the battery through over 200,000 charge cycles and it still had not lost any capacity).

https://news.uci.edu/feature/better-batteries-through-chemistry/

I think this combined with increased super charger availability will be the long term answer to range anxiety.

bmalloy0 | February 26, 2017

The answer to range anxiety is either 1) more and faster superchargers, or 2) educating people on the different dynamics of EV vs ICE

topher | February 26, 2017

@Carl
"Further, your strange notion that "energy density" is a key characteristic of bombs is incorrect. As we know from the news a while back a truck loaded with a few tons of fertilizer can be an effective bomb."

So you didn't actually look up the energy density of nitrogen fertilizer, did you?

"And you also ignore what should be obvious: the "energy density" of an internal combustion engine vehicle's fuel tank is many times greater than that of even the densest electric car battery packs today."

No I didn't, I just thought people on this forum were smart enough to know that already, so it wasn't worth mentioning.

"Finally I'll also point out that electric car battery packs are made up of hundreds of sealed individual cells which pretty much eliminates the risk of a cascade failure that could result in an uncontrolled release of a significant portion of the pack's stored energy within a short period of time."

The fires we have seen in EVs disagrees.

You seem to be reading a LOT of things into my simple comment (e.g. ICE cars, escape times, etc.)

Thank you kindly.

Carl Thompson | February 26, 2017

@topher

"So you didn't actually look up the energy density of nitrogen fertilizer, did you?"

I'm assuming you have a point? Are you saying that no explosive has a higher "energy density" than fertilizer? How does what you said address my point in any way?

"No I didn't, I just thought people on this forum were smart enough to know that already, so it wasn't worth mentioning."

But falsely equating more efficient EV batteries with bombs was worth mentioning?

"The fires we have seen in EVs disagrees[sic]."

You're right, there. I did some Googling and, yes, there have been more or less immediate Tesla fires when drivers have completely obliterated their cars by hitting stationary objects at extremely high speeds. However, the batteries did not explode like bombs and cause the accident. The batteries caught fire after fire after the car was destroyed by the crash. However, I didn't make that distinction in my post so you're right.

Carl

JeffreyR | February 27, 2017

@Carl T asked, "I took a look at your SA rebuttal post and I found it interesting. But I'm not sure why you suggested I read it? Is there a connection I'm missing?"

The main thesis I am refuting is that GF-01 is a big mistake bc. Li-ion [21700] cells chosen by Tesla will be obsolete before they can pay for GF-01. This OP is about 21700 cell obsolescence. So I thought you would enjoy that post.

topher | February 27, 2017

"I'm assuming you have a point?"

Yes, that you were wrong when you implied that fertilizer doesn't have a high energy density.

"equating more efficient EV batteries with bombs was worth mentioning?"

Yes, people seem to forget (or not know) that high energy density comes with inherent risks, and thus all due caution is warranted. Which was my sole point (read the post I was responding to).

Thank you kindly.

Carl Thompson | February 27, 2017

@topher

"Yes, that you were wrong when you implied that fertilizer doesn't have a high energy density."

I did not imply any such thing. My point was that there are explosives with a higher "energy density" than fertilizer but that doesn't make fertilizer less effective. But since you bring it up, as far as explosives go fertilizer is much lower in chemical "energy density" than pretty much anything else used for that purpose. Much lower, for example, than even plain old gunpowder.

"Yes, people seem to forget (or not know) that high energy density comes with inherent risks, and thus all due caution is warranted. Which was my sole point (read the post I was responding to)."

But your point is simply not true. "Energy density" is not (much of) a factor in explosions. The key factors are the amount of energy released and how quickly it is released. Let's say you take a liter of hydrogen gas at STP, burn it and it releases X joules of energy. Then let's say you take a second liter of hydrogen gas, compress it down to 0.25 liters and then burn it are you going to get 4*X joules of energy out? Of course not. It would be silly to think so and would be counter to our fundamental understanding of how chemistry and physics work.

Carl

PS: I know (I hope) you were joking when you wrote your original comment and I hope you're still just having fun now. I have responded as kind of a fun exercise but I mean no disrespect to you personally so I hope you don't take it that way!

Haggy | February 27, 2017

Carl,

The batteries are compartmentalized for that reason. A short in one module caused by physical damage will not cause other battery modules to catch fire until it's likely been more than enough time for all occupants to exit the vehicle. As for individual cells, if one shorts out, the fact that the others in the module are individual cells won't help much, but the isolation from other groups of cells will.

Carl Thompson | February 27, 2017

@Haggy

Yes, exactly. That's what I was trying to say. You said it better.

Thanks,
Carl

andy.connor.e | February 28, 2017

As soon as a new technology is relatively equal for production costs.

georgehawley.fl.us | February 28, 2017

@Woodsonpd may be off by a few weeks.

topher | March 1, 2017

"The batteries are compartmentalized for that reason."

Exactly. The reason is, that such things can release that energy quickly causing destruction and harm.

Thank you kindly.