Nikola, a start-up that has focused on hydrogen and battery-powered heavy-duty trucks, isn’t offering many details about the new technology and, considering that other promised breakthroughs have failed to prove production ready, there are plenty of skeptics. Even if it does pan out, tech consultancy ABI Research warns it would likely take several years, at the soonest, to begin manufacturing.
They claim – indirectly – that their battery would extend the range of EVs to 750 miles . Specifically, they say that with 2,000 charge/discharge cycles, their battery is good for 1.5 million miles. 1.5 million divided by 2,000 is 750 miles.
As a practical matter, while ICE vehicles do exceed 500,000 miles life, at times, I wonder what the typical max lifetime mileage of an EV will be? Keep in mind that besides motors and batteries, there are other things that fail over time, including interior finishing, steering wheel covers, controls, window seals, etc. Still, if their claims are true, this implies excellent range and long lifetime battery banks.
Similarly, IBM recently announced a claimed breakthrough in battery tech made from common materials and enabling extremely fast charging. But as with Nikola, no details have been provided.
Hopefully one of these breakthroughs works! And soon!
Longer ranges – or faster charging – is important for EV success. We could take a year round/4 season range of 300+ miles if charging could be completed in perhaps 15-20 minutes, or a 4 season range of 600 + miles (looking at the routes we travel). One or both of the two options would improve EV practicality by a lot. Of course, affordability will be a key factor. Current EVs with a 200+ mile range are priced and marketed as luxury vehicles and are not yet for the masses.
Price and range anxiety are the two largest impediments to purchasing an EV.