GM Exec Says Million-Mile Battery “Almost There”

General Motors is “almost there” when it comes to a million-mile electric car battery. That’s according to a new report from Reuters, quoting one of the automaker’s Executive Vice Presidents.

Doug Parks made the announcement during an online investor conference earlier this week, says the report, though he didn’t give a timeline for the new battery system. The news comes just days after Tesla CEO Elon Musk made a similar announcement for a newer generation of batteries designed for longer lives in cars as well as the possibility of a service life hooked to the power grid after being removed from the car it came with.

Traditional EV batteries are expected to last several hundred thousand miles in normal use, but a million-mile battery could lead to large decreases in EV costs over the lifetime of the vehicle as well as increasing residual values.

While Parks didn’t give a firm date, the GM executive did say that “multiple teams” at the automaker are working on battery tech advances like solid-state electrolytes, faster charging, and electrodes that don’t use the troubled element cobalt in their construction. Cobalt is problematic for being available only in limited sources as well as often being mined in areas with little regard for human or environmental costs.

GM’s $2.3 billion battery production joint venture with LG Chem, located in Lordstown, OH, will be called Ultium Cells LLC, producing the Ultium advanced battery system. The two companies are also working on ways to reduce the cost of battery cells including investing in mines, hedging metals prices, and partnering with refiners, the report said.

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