Today’s Solutions: December 02, 2021

Electric vehicles (EVs) have a clear environmental advantage over their gas-guzzling counterparts, but when it comes to longevity, the two are in a dead heat. Two hundred thousand miles is considered a good, long run for a car built today, regardless of whether it’s powered by a lithium battery or an internal combustion engine.

But if a flurry of recent reports is to be believed, EVs may soon surge ahead in this long-distance competition — not by mere thousands of miles, but by 800,000.

As reported in Grist, multiple EV battery makers have announced the imminent arrival of “million-mile” batteries, power packs that supposedly have enough juice to be driven to the moon and back twice. General Motors and Tesla, as well as Chinese battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. (CATL), have all announced million-mile batteries that will allow electric vehicles to live up to their full potential.

But what does the million-mile battery revolution actually mean? According to experts in battery storage technology and the EV market, claims of new batteries that will last a million miles don’t tell us much on their own. How these batteries can be used is going to depend, first and foremost, on how they perform and degrade over their so-called “million-mile” lifespan.

Several experts pointed out that true million-mile batteries are likely to outlast whatever cars they’re built for, meaning their arrival could dramatically impact both second-use markets and battery recycling. For instance, if a consumer doesn’t wind up clocking a million miles on a single battery, that battery could be used for other things, like vehicular energy storage or for connecting to a grid.

Recently, Grist published a fantastic long-read about the potential of these so-called ‘Million-mile’ batteries, which we highly recommend. You can find it here.

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