ONE, Our Next Energy, a US start up company based in Michigan focussing on next generation battery, has achieved an impressive result: in mid December 2021 it made the longest stretch of driving with an EV on a single charge: 752.2 miles (1210.5 km) using a retrofitted Tesla Model S on Michigan roads (watch the clip). The result is even more impressive considering the time of the year: battery lose capacity in winter time because of cold weather. The same car run in a lab environment (on a dynamometer) at a steady 55 mph speed for 882 miles (1420 km) on a single charge.
They took a Tesla S model that is equipped with a 103.9 kilowatt-hour battery pack and replaced the pack with the one they produce, delivering 207.3 kWh, almost doubling the original capacity. Notice that the new pack has the same dimension of the original one so it was possible to retrofit the Model S without any change (see the photo).
The test was done to prove that it is indeed possible to run an electric vehicle for very long distances on a single charge. The battery used were based on cobalt-nickel cells and ONE called this a prototype that will not move to industry manufacturing because of cost. They plan to release a battery pack called Aries later this year based on lithium iron-phosphate. This chemistry has a 30% lower energy density of the cobalt-nickel but they have managed to create a 3D structure that squeeze cells a bit more to make up for the lower density. The Aries battery will deliver fewer kWh than the battery pack used in the Tesla S for the record breaking drive.
In 2023 the plan is to release a new product, Gemini, that should elevate the energy density by using a new anode, replacing the current one based on graphite, thus leaving more space to the cathode (hence increasing the energy storage capacity).
It looks like we are on track to have EV providing the same range of an ICE vehicle by middle of this decade. Given the continuous progress of technology we might reasonably expect that by the end of this decade EV will exceed ICE range, or. more likely, will have a similar range at a much lower cost per vehicle.