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GM, Tesla in a Race for 1 Million-Mile Battery

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【Summary】Tesla isn’t the only automaker that’s working on a battery capable of lasting 1 million miles. A top executive at General Motors claims the American brand is also looking into coming out with similar technology.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    May 31, 2020 8:00 AM PT
GM, Tesla in a Race for 1 Million-Mile Battery

While range is going up and prices are just beginning to come down, there's still a long way to go when it comes to electric-vehicle technology. Tesla still leads the way forward when it comes to range, but the automaker isn't resting on its laurels. Instead, it's hard at work on coming out with an affordable electric battery that will last 1 million miles.

GM's Following Tesla's Lead

The tech will allow Tesla to sell its vehicles for nearly the same price as gas-powered cars. Well, it looks like Tesla isn't the only one that's working on introducing an electric battery that's capable of lasting 1 million miles.

When it comes to traditional automakers, General Motors is arguably the leader in the electric scene. So, we're not entirely surprised when we hear that the American marque is looking into coming out with technology that will directly compete with Tesla.

According to a report by Reuters, General Motors is "almost there" in regard to developing a battery for electric vehicles that can last up to 1 million miles. Speaking at an online investor conference, GM Executive Vice President Doug Parks confirmed that the automaker is already working on more advanced batteries than the ones found in its new Ultium set.

Why Better Batteries Are Important

While Parks didn't provide a lot more information on the technology or provide a timeline on when GM would introduce something like this, he stated that "multiple teams" are currently working on more-advanced EV technology. Advancements in solid-state electrolytes, zero-cobalt electrodes, and ultra-fast charging, claims the outlet, are being used to help the automaker reach its goal of unveiling these high-mileage batteries.

At the moment, electric vehicle batteries only last 100,000 to 200,000 miles. That's far less than what consumers can expect gasoline engines to last, making them an even harder sell when you factor in their relatively high price tags. Furthermore, electric battery packs are expensive to replace, so giving consumers technology that can last an entire vehicle's lifespan would change the game.

While 1-million mile batteries from either Tesla or General Motors are well off in the distance, it's nice to know a traditional automaker is looking to rival Tesla in a space where the brand is dominant. Until then, we'll have to see what kind of performance GM manages to get out of its new Ultium batteries. Those are expected to have 50 kWh to 200 kWh and a range of up to 400 miles. Performance will be blistering, with some cars capable of getting to 60 mph in as little as 3 seconds. Fast-charging capability will also be included with the Ultium batteries.

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