Word on the street is that Tesla may be working on a 500-mile graphene battery. Graphene is, of course, a kind of supermaterial, and it’s possible Tesla is looking into it, but I’m also a bit skeptical.
First, let’s look at the reasons why someone might think Tesla is working on an electric car battery that uses graphene. Graphene could increase the energy density of EV batteries, could allow for faster charging, and could very well lead to an electric car with 500 miles of range. Furthermore, a Chinese website stated that Tesla was working on one, and Tesla’s Elon Musk recently stated that a 500-mile EV battery could be available “soon.”
On the other hand… graphene production has hardly gotten started (if it actually has, which seems to be up for debate); graphene is certainly anything but cheap right now; graphene still has some health risks that need to be investigated; in an annual Tesla presentation and Q&A a few months ago, Elon Musk was asked about battery breakthroughs and I thought Elon indicated pretty clearly that Tesla hadn’t seen any; Tesla’s big new focus this year has been on building a battery Gigafactory with Panasonic that would reportedly manufacture the same lithium-ion batteries Tesla uses right now. Economies of scale, not a change in materials, is supposed to bring costs down. Elon stated that they are of course going to build the factory in a way that it could manufacture some new battery cells if something big came along, but, iirc, indicated that Tesla hadn’t seen anything better than what they have.
And it just seems odd to me that someone at Tesla would leak such information to a Chinese news agency before anyone else had a clue about it.
That said, one never knows what may be up Tesla’s sleeve.
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