GE's New Battery Research Could Drive Tesla Farther

GE's New Battery Research Could Drive Tesla Farther

EcLectric | August 30, 2013


Just do a Google search for "Battery Breakthrough" and you'll realize that there are tons of new battery technologies under development that have yet to make it to market. All of them promise to increase energy density by a factor of at least 3, and none have made it out of the lab. If one of these revolutionary technologies were to succeed, Tesla would be in the best position to exploit it anyway.

jbunn | August 30, 2013

The article says "Recharging GE's proposed batteries would "occur in electrochemical cells separated from energy storing tanks, which makes them safer," according to the research team."

Soooo... We are saying that we need something like gas stations with underground tanks of chemicals to refresh these batteries? And we build a few hundred thousand stations nation wide? Then battery technology changes. And we need something like Diesel and Petrol at these stations. We still need electricity to refresh the electrolyte, so that doesn't save us any power. That sounds like a lot to ask business to do with a limited number of vehicles.

Can you charge the new batteries at home? nah. Will the battery be cheap, but flushing the electrolyte expensive? What happens if you're 1/3rd full and need to fill? You give up 1/3rd of your range to flush and fill. Do we need to truck in fresh electrolyte and truck out spent electrolyte back to the "refinery".

Betamax is a good example in this case. The Betamax from Sony was technologically better than VHS in video tape recording and playback, but VHS became the standard. The "superior" technology does not always win. We've seen several different film technologies for video, then two inch tape, 1 inch helical tape, Betamax, VHS, video disk, DVD, Blu-ray, and an assortment of digital video codecs in the last 100 years. And in each of these technologies, one thing was always constant. You plugged the player into a wall outlet.

Until it plugs into the wall, unless it's vastly superior, I don't think it will get enough market share to drive the creation of it's own infrastructure.

My5bAby | August 30, 2013

I know nothing more than the video, which shows REFILLING with BOTH water and SOME SORT OF ELECTROLYTE.

Personally I see this as a step backwards because what we are headed towards is INDIVIDUAL ENERGY INDEPENDENCE. I seriously doubt anyone else is going to let use fill up the way the superchargers do and in our own homes (when ever we want to).

Just my 2 cents.

JZ13 | August 30, 2013

I hope you guys are right because I want Tesla to maintain their battery performance delta. I know tons of people are claiming technological breakthroughs but they aren't GE. GE is one of the biggest companies in the world and they, for the most part, don't make false or misleading claims.

Kleist | August 30, 2013

@JZ13 - if you are scared of competition you are already dead. Elon isn't afraid of competition, neither me. Competition just gets you off your butt and makes you work smarter.
I worked for the three letter company research - news releases are about things never intended to be manufactured. If you plan to make it into an actual product the last thing you do is to put it into the news - keep it for yourself not to tip off competition.

fast99 | October 5, 2013

A little late to this discussion, but really??? A single article based on some PR from GE and a bunch of you acting like your panties are all bunched up. If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone was working on a revolutionary battery.....

Bottom line, you are driving revolutionary technology and the revolution never stops.

fbramble | October 5, 2013

Remember why Tesla was started:

Tesla’s goal is to accelerate the world’s transition to electric mobility with a full range of increasingly affordable electric cars. We're catalyzing change in the industry. Tesla vehicles and EVs powered by Tesla are fun to drive and environmentally responsible.