What Tesla is doing with new graphene batteries…

In December 2014 Tesla announced the release of an upgrade dubbed the ‘Roadster 3.0′ which included an enhanced battery taking the power from 54kWh up to 70kW, consequently the range was also improved from 211 miles to a far more respectable 400 mile range.

Figures quoted in the image above and this blog post are our best guess calculations based on what we could find on Teslas website and other sites from accross the internet

Tesla was the first car company to use lithium-ion batteries in an electric vehicle and some have suggested that the recent Roadster 3.0 upgraded battery pack included graphene technology although Tesla remains tight lipped on the technology used. Elon Musk CEO did however mention that an upgraded battery for the Model S will be available in the future, just not anytime soon.

Graphene is an amazing new technology first created in Manchester University in 2004 with a Nobel prize being won by it’s creator in 2010.
It is said that a sheet of graphene is strong enough to hold the weight of an elephant standing on a pencil! But one of the best attributes that graphine-based batteries have over lithium-ion is that they can be charged within minutes. If the new battery pack upgrade for the Roadster 3.0 was enhanced with graphene it is said it would take just 8 mins to charge.

Unfortunately as yet Tesla have announced that the Model X which is due for release in 2016 shall not be coming with graphene batteries, because as they rightly say graphene remains untested in the real world.

However China is being a little optimistic and has this year begun producing graphene batteries for the mass market, including batteries for electric vehicles. China is currently the largest producer of graphene in the world and with rumours of battery-less electric vehicles powered by supercapacitors circulating around the electric vehicle community, China is well placed to produce some groundbreaking technology in the coming years.

Model S Stats with Graphene?

Based on the official figures released by Tesla on the Roadster 3.0 we calculated what a similar upgrade for the Model S could look like, the results were so astounding that we put them into an infographic for you to share and hopefully Tesla might just get create the upgrade a little sooner

The 85kWh model S with the same style battery upgrade could see range increase by 280 miles, from 310 miles to a whopping 590 mile range! This is very similar to what you would expect from a modern diesel car, but with 80% cheaper fuel costs i.e. approx. 2p per mile.

It is widely speculated that graphene enhanced batteries in electric vehicles could see charge times reduces to just 5-10 mins, although this theory remains unproven in the real world!

It is my personal belief that Tesla have not actually used any graphene in their battery upgrade in the Roadster 3.0 at all based on the distinct lack of any mention of the word graphene in any of their patents. So this could well mean that once we do see this new graphene technology used results could be even more overwhelming than the figures suggested in these infographics.

The End of Electric Vehicle Batteries

In as little as 5 years time we could be seeing electric vehicles being produced that do not even have batteries in them at all! A team of scientists have gotten together to produce a supercapacitor made with graphene that can quickly store the necessary energy to start and run as well as give massive amounts of power when needed for fast acceleration.
This collaboration between scientists at Rice University and Queensland University of Technology resulted in two papers, published in Journal of Power Sources and Nanotechnology.

What could this mean for F1 racing? If this type of supercapacitor technology was used in racing instead of fossil fuels it would present a massive advantage as it would eliminate the need to take a pit stop to refuel!

What are your thoughts on this new graphene technology? please share below we would love to get your opinion on this, thanks

About The Author

Ben Gillott

Freelance web developer with passion for helping out in tech start ups and pretty much any kind of cool web project! When not plugged into the web Ben enjoys rock climbing, snowboarding, skiing or just about any other adventurous outdoor activity.

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