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Tesla, UNLV Research Partnership To Study Batteries

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Rachel Christiansen

Governor Brian Sandoval stands among UNLV and Tesla officials to sign a research agreement between the two entities Wednesday, Oct. 7.

Over the next five years, UNLV researchers will get to know a lot about batteries thanks to a partnership between electric car manufacturer Tesla and the university. 

Governor Brian Sandoval, UNLV President Len Jessup and Tesla Vice President Diarmuid O'Connell addressed a gathering of UNLV faculty, regents, state lawmakers and the media Wednesday to make the formal announcement. 

Researchers will now further delve into studying batteries by looking at life cycles, materials, reprocessing and recycling. The goal is to help Tesla find a more efficient way to manufacture the company's car batteries. If this can be accomplished, Tesla may be able to launch a model of electric car that is more affordable for the average consumer. 

"I think that the first results are going to manifest themselves within a couple of months," O'Connell said. 

It's been 13 months since the Tesla deal was signed after Gov. Sandoval called a special legislative session that ended with $1.3 billion in tax breaks for Tesla - the 12th largest in U.S. history. 

A part of that agreement was Tesla's commitment to invest at least $3.5 billion in Nevada. The research agreement with UNLV will equal about 1 million dollars. 

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