Tesla’s new battery cells will increase EV range, but also significantly reduce the production cost.
During Tesla’s Battery day in Palo Alto, Musk announced its plan to produce a ‘tabless’ battery, improving electric cars’ range and power. He also added that the new battery could cut costs significantly. As a result, the company expects to sell electric vehicles at the same price as gasoline-powered ones in the very short term.
According to Tesla, the new cells will cost 14% less per kilowatt-hour. To achieve that feat, Tesla removed the tab used to connect the cells and increased the size — thus, the “4680 tabless cells” denomination.
In terms of energy, 4860 cells will be six times more powerful and five times bigger energy capacity, resulting in a 16% increase in overall battery range.
“You actually have a shorter path length [for the electron to travel] in a large tabless cell than you have in the smaller cell with tabs,” Musk added. “So even though the cell is bigger, it actually has more power.”
Tesla’s vice president for the powertrain and energy department, Drew Baglino, also provided his insights. He said that ‘Tesla’s engineers “laser patterned” the existing foils in the cell to create a “shingled spiral” that results in a shorter electrical path length of 50 mm, versus the existing 250 mm length in the current cells’.
With that being said, Elon Musk had been talking about its new battery tech even before Battery Day. He even tweeted that Tesla would continue current partnerships and increase the number of batteries bought from suppliers such as Panasonic, China’s CATL, and South Korea’s LG Chem.
Caspar Rawles, an analyst at Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, said that this seems like a logical move, as per the company’s plans. “It doesn’t make sense for Tesla to cut these relationships off; its future demand will need the capacity — although the company is now at the stage it can tackle vertical integration.”