It looks like General Motors (GM) is about to achieve a new EV battery milestone as the company might be able to produce a battery that can last up to a million miles (or over 1.6 million kilometers).
According to a report by Reuters, GM executive vice president Doug Parks said that the company is busy developing next-generation batteries that will be more advanced than Ultium which was revealed last March. Parks also mentioned that multiple teams at GM are working on making batteries that have zero-cobalt electrodes, solid-state electrolytes, as well as have ultra-fast charging properties.
With the battery packs of most electric vehicles (EVs) only capable of lasting between 161,000 km to 322,000 km, GM's purported million-mile battery could prove to be a game-changer. Not only will this allow continuous use of battery packs for years on end, but it will also mean having to produce fewer battery pack replacements in the long run.
With more and more companies relying on raw materials like cobalt, lithium, graphite, aluminum, nickel, and manganese to make rechargeable EV batteries, GM's million-mile battery could also translate to better resource management for these raw materials.
But how will GM make this commercially viable? Supposedly, GM, together with LG Chem, (who helped develop Ultium) is looking at investing in mines that can gather the raw materials needed, hedging metal prices, as well as partnering with metal refineries.
This could also mean that GM will have to further tap into countries that are rich in raw materials like Argentina, Chile, and Bolivia (which make up the Lithium Triangle of the world), as well as Indonesia and China. But with US-China relations currently over troubled water, GM might have to think of a long-term solution with other countries in order to get the resources they need to make the million-mile battery a reality.
With GM currently looking to make Ultium and its modular EV platform available on various GM products, their plan of making a million-mile battery might just be the technology they need to edge out the competition for the next generation of EVs.
But with Tesla reportedly also looking to unveil a similar million-mile battery pack, GM might have to work double-time before the California-based EV company beats them.