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Model S: Chances of Unveiling an Unannounced Battery Chemistry

Discussion in 'Battery Discussion' started by Todd Burch, Feb 23, 2010.

  1. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

    Nov 3, 2009
    Smithfield, VA
    Hi all,

    I have a question that nobody knows the answer to yet...but I'd like to hear your educated guesses:

    The release of the Model S is still 1.5 years away (at the least), and battery technology is advancing at a fairly rapid rate (or, you could at least argue that there's a *lot* of battery research going on these days). So...

    If there's a significant, viable advancement in battery technology in the next year or so, what do you think is the chance that it would appear in the Model S? Would Tesla pass, thinking that there isn't enough time to adequately test the technology before the S comes out?

    Or do you think that the technology might be integrated, if only causing a little bit of a delay in the Model S release?

    Just curious...
  2. WarpedOne

    WarpedOne Supreme Premier

    Aug 17, 2006
    Slovenia, Europe
    Tesla Model S will have standard LiIon cells from a big Japan manufecturer with a good track record for providing qualitty products (no recalls ...).

    You don't experiment while building tens of thousands cars per year. Forget new chemistry in cars on the road for next 10 years at least.
  3. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

    Dec 8, 2007
    #3 stopcrazypp, Feb 24, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2010
    I have a similar prediction as WarpedOne, but my argument is just energy density. There's no other chemistry on the horizon that will enable a 160-300 mile Model S at a reasonable price/weight. All the ones that do better in density than laptop cells seem to be pretty far off and I don't think there are any alternatives that are cheaper. Unless there is an automaker or some other kind of joint venture that suddenly makes their (well tested) iron phosphate or manganese cells available for an inexpensive price, it's unlikely Tesla will switch to another chemistry.

    As for delaying, I predict the Model S will be delayed anyways for other problems and adding a delay for a chemistry switch probably isn't going to be worth it (esp if it means redesigning/retesting a pack, which would mean a pretty huge delay).

    The biggest change I feel that can be expected is a switch to higher density cells (same 18650 size just more capacity), since Panasonic is planning to release them in the same time frame as the Model S (2012,2013). But from other reports, I think this is already planned (they are likely to use these cells in the 300 mile Model S, which is going to be released later than the standard Model S).
  4. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

    May 23, 2008
    Winchester, UK
    It's interesting that the cell coming first (the 3.4Ah) has the better gravimetric energy density. Of course, they leave that out of the table :smile:
  5. Norbert

    Norbert TSLA will win

    Oct 12, 2009
    San Francisco, CA
    The battery pack of the Model S is exchangeable, so no delay. When there is a viable new technology, they will build a pack with it as soon as they can, and it will be an option for both new and existing Model S owners, without any effect on Model S production itself. If you already have a Model S, Tesla might buy your pack in exchange and use it at their recharge/exchange stations. The future will be good.
  6. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

    Apr 3, 2009
    This is what I was thinking as well. Battery-wise I doubt we have much to worry about. You'll just have to worry about better motors and cabin-tech in newer models :biggrin:

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