How re-engineering an old technology could give us EVs with 700 miles of range

One of the challenges facing the electric vehicle industry is battery supply. In May of this year, Tesla’s global supply manager stated that the company is planning for a shortage of key battery materials. Automakers are working to vertically integrate battery manufacturing into their business to ensure that they will have access to batteries when needed. In large part, this is happening because Lithium-ion batteries are the standard for rechargeable cells. They’re used in everything from cameras and phones to EVs. In addition to being expensive and dependent on scarce resources, Li-ion batteries carry a danger of overheating and catching fire or even exploding. That’s why airlines don’t want these batteries in their cargo holds. On top of that, building new factories to make Lithium-ion batteries is expensive and time-consuming. Tesla invested $5 billion in its Nevada Gigafactory to produce batteries for the Model 3 in-house. Tesla’s capacity is at about 24 GWh today, and up to 35 GWh when completed in the next year.

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