An exclusive 5-year research agreement was recently signed between Tesla Motors and Dahn Lab at Dalhousie University, according to recent reports. The new agreement — which was signed by Tesla CTO JB Straubel and Dalhousie University’s Jeff Dahn — will enter into effect next year.
As it stands, June 2016 is when the exclusive research period work will begin. This is when support from 3M and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) is set to cease. Interestingly, the agreement represents the first time that a prominent US automaker has partnered with a Canadian university in this way.
For a bit of background here, Jeff Dahn’s lab is home to 25 researchers (graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and technical staff), and is focused on energy storage materials chemistry; and specifically, in relation to lithium-ion batteries. The primary aim of research at the lab is apparently to increase battery energy density; lower costs; and increase working lifetime.
So, no surprise why Tesla has decided to support its work.
Professor Dahn’s commented on the new agreement (which as stated before doesn’t enter into effect until June of next year): “Our research group’s goal is to increase the energy density and lifetime of Li-ion batteries, so we can drive down costs in automotive and grid energy storage applications.”
Commenting on the end of his research agreement with 3M and NSERC, Dahn also stated: “I’m so thankful for 3M Canada and NSERC’s support over the years. We’ve had many successes together that have created products for 3M, which are key milestones in my career and in my students’ careers.”
Amongst those successes, Dahn made specific note of the creation of nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) positive electrode material.
Interesting news! Tesla is seemingly continuing to expand in all directions, based on the news items that keep coming out. I assume that at least some of these will lead to successes in the coming years.
For more from Jeff Dahn on lithium-ion batteries, see this epic presentation and Q&A: How To Make Li-ion Batteries Live Longer, How They Die (In Depth)
Image Credit: Tesla Motors