Lithium-Ion Battery Expert Jeff Dahn About To Start At Tesla Motors

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Originally published on EV Obsession.

As part of its ongoing expansion efforts following the great success of the Model 3 reveal, and as reported a year ago, Tesla has secured an exclusive contract with the noted battery researcher Jeff Dahn (of Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia).

The new contract begins on June 8th, and will see Dahn working to increase the performance of the company’s (already cutting-edge) batteries. Dahn will reportedly be doing “whatever it takes” to improve performance.

Jeff Dahn was quoted by Quartz as saying that the research goals for his work with Tesla are pretty much the standard ones in the industry — high energy density, low cost, and a long working life. The “whatever it takes” mentioned above apparently originated in a conversation that Dahn had with Tesla’s battery division head Kurt Kelty.

“Those are the goals, and that’s how we’re going to do it,” Dahn commented. “We’re open to anything that makes sense.”


Dahn is certainly an interesting hire. Especially when considering that his most famous work to date has been with regard to a different battery chemistry (NMC) than the one that Tesla uses currently (NCA). Interesting announcements are now probably already in the offing…

As mentioned at the start of the article, Tesla’s been on something of a hiring spree lately — following the speeding up of Model 3 production plans, and some internal housecleaning. For information on those hires and departures, see:

Tesla’s New VP Of Vehicle Production Is Ex-Audi Production Head (For A4, A5, & Q5) Peter Hochholdinger

Faraday Future Hires Tesla’s Former VP Of Government Relations & Deputy General Counsel

Images via Dalhousie University

Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Our Latest EVObsession Video

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it!! So, we've decided to completely nix paywalls here at CleanTechnica. But...
Like other media companies, we need reader support! If you support us, please chip in a bit monthly to help our team write, edit, and publish 15 cleantech stories a day!
Thank you!

CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.

James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

James Ayre has 4830 posts and counting. See all posts by James Ayre

13 thoughts on “Lithium-Ion Battery Expert Jeff Dahn About To Start At Tesla Motors

  • I am sure he was not hired because of his good looks.
    Tesla is hiring people who know their area of expertise.
    Being at the forefront of this particular area of technological implantation Tesla has to hire the best available.
    If they have a stumble the incumbents will be all over them with the cheer boys in the MSM.
    As i see it Tesla is making all the correct moves ramping up to be a player in the oncoming move to EV, away from the poorly performing ICE platform, which is now looking so dated rather like the Stanley Steamer.
    The Stanley Steamer you ask? Well it was a steam driven motor vehicle.
    Information about the said car link.

    • Tesla is driving the move to EV. They are forcing the big players to do more than just meet government mandates.

      • It’s a bit of an open secret that even if Tesla “disappeared” tomorrow, they would already have been wildly successful in completing their mission.

        • Your comment reminds me of the anecdote from the Tesla earnings call, where they had a meeting with Daimler about electrifying a Smart car which was going badly till they asked the Daimler guys if they want to drive it. They had sent an engineer to Mexico, and they stuffed a roadster motor in it. The decision to do that saved Tesla. There is something really convincing about seeing something with your own eyes, and experiencing it yourself.

        • Yes. They made electric cars desireable.

          • And they have “accelerated the advent of electric transport”.

  • Jeff Dahn was the professor for several of the engineering PHD’s that were hired by Tesla a few years ago. He is the guru. It will be fun to watch what he comes up with.

  • It would be nice if you defined NMC (Nickel Manganese Cobalt) & NCA (Nickel Cobalt Aluminum) for readers who may not be familiar with those terms.

  • I wonder if the red Model S was a perk for hiring on?

  • The video is well worth at least one watch. I know I cam away with a much better understanding of Li batteries and why what appears to be the same can be so different.

    • With his approach, even if you take the old fashion try 1000-10000 different combo. You can pick the most likely best candidates in a short time and then focus on them.

  • I was hoping that Tesla would have acquired the unfortunately-named Sakti3 and brought its vision and technology to fruition, rather than the British vacuum cleaner company (lol) Dyson.

  • I’ve never heard anyone pronounce “Nissan” the way he does… is that a regional thing?

Comments are closed.