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Model S Plaid Battery Details, sourced from EPA Docs, Vehicle Observations, & Supercharging/Charging data

AlanSubie4Life

Efficiency Obsessed Member
Oct 22, 2018
11,907
15,428
San Diego
I thought I should break this topic out separately from the Model S (Plaid) Delivery Update thread, since there is a lot of posting there, and things just get buried immediately.

Summary of current status as I understand it:

1) Preliminary Monroney (not official) suggests about 103kWh unlocked capacity (assuming 88.5% charging efficiency, which has been the norm). Picture from @omarsultan in the other thread re-attached here. It is 101MPGe and has 348-mile range (estimated, NOT an EPA estimate yet) with 21"

(0.885*348mi/(101MPGe/33705Wh/Ge)) = 102.8kWh

2) The Owner's Manual states it has a 450V pack "nominal voltage" (so about 500V max?) https://www.tesla.com/sites/default/files/model_s_owners_manual_north_america_en_us.pdf , rather than 350V nominal (400V) previously. https://www.tesla.com/sites/default/files/model_s_owners_manual_europe_en_gb.pdf (These file links may change but the second is from October 2020 at this time.) Perhaps ~120 series cells rather than 96? (I think the previous 100kWh pack was 96s86p?)

This should be good for efficiency and it will be interesting to see how/when the Superchargers are adapted to it.

3) SOME people on Twitter have stated it uses 18650 cells. It's not clear whether this is 100% confirmed yet, and we don't know if they are the same type of cell as the prior 18650 cells. In addition the pack construction may be more similar to Model 3 in terms of modules, but that is all TBD the exact number of series and parallel cells Wiki - Model S Delivery Update

4) Currently vehicles all appear to be delivered showing ~390 rated miles at 100% (the projected range for the 19" wheels from the website). Even if they have 21". This will change.

5) The current charging constant used for all calculations on the display is 246Wh/rmi. (This will definitely change too.) In conjunction with above this means a 96kWh degradation threshold for now (more explanation in linked post below). (But pack capacity may well be 103kWh or so, still)

6) This pack is supposed to be capable of higher Supercharger rates. It will be nice to track the progression of that, and the taper curves, here. Seems like it could be really fast if the Superchargers power limits (at medium voltage, 10-20% SoC) and current limits (at low voltage/SoC%) can be relaxed.

Here is my current more detailed understanding of the situation and the technical details of how the car display works, for reference, very low confidence in this, open to correction:

I hope that we can include data in this thread from Plaid owners & others such as:
1) Links to official EPA docs, when available. Basic Search | Document Index System | US EPA
2) Images/videos of charging sessions at Superchargers, to see the max possible rate and the constant, and at home, to keep track of the constant.
3) Data from trip meter segments from owners, to calculate the energy in each displayed rated mile. (Take a trip, log kWh and rated mile use.)
4) Any other useful info from internet showing details of battery construction, voltage, capacity, cell type, etc.
5) ScanMyTesla or other similar CAN data from the Plaid pack when available (Nominal Full Pack, Full Pack When New, Buffer Size, max voltage, etc.).
6) Data from other gathering tools, like: Wiki - Model S Delivery Update

Thanks, tagging @EVonly, @kengchang, @2021plaid, @Drew-MS , @MP3Mike, @Atomadam, @aerodyne here since they've either shown interest or might be able to help since a couple of them have the vehicle.
IMG_9840.JPG
 
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AlanSubie4Life

Efficiency Obsessed Member
Oct 22, 2018
11,907
15,428
San Diego
@AlanSubie4Life Someone pointed out that the manual states that the nominal voltage is 450 volts. (I checked and the old Model S manual states that the nominal voltage is 320 volts.) That means the max pack voltage of the Plaid Model S is more like 567 volts. So ~42% higher than the old Model S packs.
@MP3Mike,

as mentioned above - I did exactly this same thing, and from above I see 350V for the prior manual. I never saw 320V, but it is probably out there somewhere. I also saw 360V in some manual (Model 3?). Kind of random.

Anyway, I think we know the prior pack was 96s, which is 400V max.
 
One question I am trying to figure out: Is the structural battery pack in Plaid replaceable, if one wants to update the battery? I thought the obvious answer is yes, but what concerns me a little is the Tesla sales representative saying that they have no information yet regarding ability to replace/upgrade the battery.
 

kengchang

Active Member
Jul 17, 2017
2,468
15,069
California
One question I am trying to figure out: Is the structural battery pack in Plaid replaceable, if one wants to update the battery? I thought the obvious answer is yes, but what concerns me a little is the Tesla sales representative saying that they have no information yet regarding ability to replace/upgrade the battery.
It's not structural battery pack
 

AlanSubie4Life

Efficiency Obsessed Member
Oct 22, 2018
11,907
15,428
San Diego
Is the structural battery pack in Plaid replaceable
I thought those "structural packs" were more in reference to the 4680 cells proposed honeycomb structure. (Though the pack is structural to some extent in all Teslas, I think.) In this video to me it looks like a completely distinct module, similar to model 3. You can see the penthouse (contains AC-DC and the DC-DCs, etc.) in the front, rather than in the rear like it is in Model 3/Y. (Link below starts at the discussion of the pack/motors.)


If it's like Model 3, it will require significant portions of the interior to be removed to remove all the bolts/attachment points. But maybe they've worked on that... Presumably, the days of "quick swap" packs on Model S are gone. But that's a detail that can be investigated and covered here. In any case I'm sure it's replaceable. Packs do fail; there's a bathtub curve like with most things!

Also, the structural 4680 packs will be removable, I'm sure. You can't be scrapping an entire (probably brand new) car because the pack fails. I honestly don't know exactly what the exact distinction is between the current packs and the future honeycomb packs, except maybe they will remove frame strength and put more strength into the pack for the "structural" packs (maybe this saves weight overall). Seems like kind of a non-well-defined line to me, anyway.
 
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MP3Mike

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2016
18,214
45,133
Oregon
One question I am trying to figure out: Is the structural battery pack in Plaid replaceable, if one wants to update the battery? I thought the obvious answer is yes, but what concerns me a little is the Tesla sales representative saying that they have no information yet regarding ability to replace/upgrade the battery.
The Plaid Model S doesn't have a structural battery pack. (The Plaid+ was supposed to have that.)
 
The Plaid Model S doesn't have a structural battery pack. (The Plaid+ was supposed to have that.)
Ok, ret me rephrase that: There is some significant innovation and not much detail about the battery in Plaid, and a simple question like "is the cost of battery replacement" to a Tesla sales representative gives me the answer "We don't yet have information regarding battery replaceability". But that answer is critical for many reasons - cost of damage, insurance, longevity, etc.
 

AlanSubie4Life

Efficiency Obsessed Member
Oct 22, 2018
11,907
15,428
San Diego
Ok, ret me rephrase that: There is some significant innovation and not much detail about the battery in Plaid, and a simple question like "is the cost of battery replacement" to a Tesla sales representative gives me the answer "We don't yet have information regarding battery replaceability". But that answer is critical for many reasons - cost of damage, insurance, longevity, etc.
Since the Model 3 pack is about $15k to replace (I don't remember whether this includes labor), I would expect the Model S Plaid pack to cost between $20k-$25k to replace. These things are a bit flexible though - these are prices estimated as of today and don't reflect future changes in pack costs, inflation, etc. Just ballpark.

Regarding the "innovation" in the pack - since it doesn't have 4680s, I guess that's an open question as to whether it's a "simple" cell re-arrangement (more series cells, fewer parallel cells), or whether they've tweaked cell chemistries too, etc. I'm sure they've improved the cooling system, density, cost, etc. as much as they can. But to me it seems more evolutionary rather than revolutionary (based on information so far - I could be wrong).
 
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One question I am trying to figure out: Is the structural battery pack in Plaid replaceable, if one wants to update the battery? I thought the obvious answer is yes, but what concerns me a little is the Tesla sales representative saying that they have no information yet regarding ability to replace/upgrade the battery.
Sorry to spam the thread, but I got confirmation that the battery remains modular / replaceable.
 
J

jbcarioca

Guest
It is interesting that there are conflicting reports from attendees claiming that the cells are:
- 2170s with identical chesty to the current production 3 and Y. That one also claims that the 3 and Y have new chemistry also.
- 18650s unchanged from old S and X.
-18650's with new chemistry.

Everyone agrees that the pack design in new and saves 'lots of weight'
People seem quite certain of their conflicting data, although the YouTube contingent seems to be convincing everyone on TMC that they're 18650s.

We know the nominal voltage is higher. We know that we are all told the charge rate is higher than it has been for any other Tesla;
We know that the power curve is very flat, but is ascribed mostly to that wonderful new Tesla Automation-designed rotor.

After all of that I cannot help but believe we really don't know just what has been done to the new pack or what it contains, but we know it is really special.

Thanks for this thread. I, for one, would like to know what is in the car I should be receiving still this month.
 

Stretch2727

Engineer and Car Nut
Nov 8, 2015
689
5,908
East Coast, USA
Since most other threads on the “new” Model S refresh (as of early 2021) are busy discussing the most obvious changes to the interior, I thought the advancements to the battery cells and pack architecture deserved a separate thread of its own.


What we know for sure:

1. Per the shareholder deck posted on Tesla’s investor relations site, the “both the battery pack and modules have now been fully redesigned” (see page 9)

2. During the earnings call conducted on January 27th 2021, Elon mentioned that “the new S currently uses the 18650 form factor, they're just a more advanced cell” while answering analyst Alex Potter of Piper Sandler.

3. The Model S product page on Tesla’s site mentions “new module and pack thermal architecture allows faster changing and gives you more power and endurance in all conditions”, and that “both Long Range and Plaid powertrains, with update battery architecture, are capable of back-to-back, consistent 1/4 mile runs”.


What we think is most likely the case:

The existing 18650 format only applies to the Long Range and Plaid variants, while the Plaid+ that was announced at the end of the Battery Day presentation on September 22nd 2020 will use the new 4680 format cells, which provide even more power and more range.


What we don’t know for sure yet:

1. Total and usable capacity of the new packs; the Long Range gained about 10 EPA rate miles over the previous version, but with the new models including a heat pump, the more efficient motors from Model 3/Y, and a decently lower drag coefficient, shouldn’t the gain in range be higher assuming the pack didn’t change in capacity? Could it be that the new pack has less capacity, especially given the ~250 lbs weight loss between old & new Long Range models?

2. Supercharging taper curve; after what SoC does the 250kW peak start to drop off, and how fast? From the Model S product page, Tesla mentions 200 miles gained in 15 minutes, which is just under half the capacity given the 412-mile range. So perhaps ~45 kWh in 15 minutes, which is 180 kW average power for that duration?

3. Is the new Model S pack structural, as presented on Battery Day? If so, are the cells grouped closer together and to the center of the car, allowing for better handling?

Discuss, please!

PS: Elon mentioned he would do a separate presentation on the new aspects of the refresh, but I haven’t read anywhere when that will be. If you know, please share!
From this post Elon indicated in the January earnings call the new model S has 18650 cells.
 
I thought those "structural packs" were more in reference to the 4680 cells proposed honeycomb structure. (Though the pack is structural to some extent in all Teslas, I think.) In this video to me it looks like a completely distinct module, similar to model 3. You can see the penthouse (contains AC-DC and the DC-DCs, etc.) in the front, rather than in the rear like it is in Model 3/Y. (Link below starts at the discussion of the pack/motors.)


If it's like Model 3, it will require significant portions of the interior to be removed to remove all the bolts/attachment points. But maybe they've worked on that... Presumably, the days of "quick swap" packs on Model S are gone. But that's a detail that can be investigated and covered here. In any case I'm sure it's replaceable. Packs do fail; there's a bathtub curve like with most things!

Also, the structural 4680 packs will be removable, I'm sure. You can't be scrapping an entire (probably brand new) car because the pack fails. I honestly don't know exactly what the exact distinction is between the current packs and the future honeycomb packs, except maybe they will remove frame strength and put more strength into the pack for the "structural" packs (maybe this saves weight overall). Seems like kind of a non-well-defined line to me, anyway.

I think the penthouse being in the front of the car is because of the previous design. In the older S/X that penthouse contained the two extra battery modules that the larger 400V packs had. The 350V packs were just empty there I think.

Pre-refresh S had the onboard charger as a distinct unit under the rear seat (X had it on the side of the trunk). I wonder what's under the rear seat on the Plaid.
 
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aerodyne

Nose cone car > MS LR?
Nov 19, 2018
4,582
7,744
Los Angeles
I think the penthouse being in the front of the car is because of the previous design. In the older S/X that penthouse contained the two extra battery modules that the larger 400V packs had. The 350V packs were just empty there I think.

Pre-refresh S had the onboard charger as a distinct unit under the rear seat (X had it on the side of the trunk). I wonder what's under the rear seat on the Plaid.

From the picture, penthouse cover does not seem large enough to hold a module much less two. This is assuming the new, redesigned modules are the same as the old.

Being very experienced in sandwich structure design, I have been skeptical since B-day about the benefits of using cells as core material.

It could be they figured this out early on, and found a better way to reduce weight is to add skin beads and internal stiffeners to the pack case.

Like most here, I am curious how they made a smaller and lighter pack of roughly similar capacity just by tweaking cell chemistry.
 
From the picture, penthouse cover does not seem large enough to hold a module much less two. This is assuming the new, redesigned modules are the same as the old.

Being very experienced in sandwich structure design, I have been skeptical since B-day about the benefits of using cells as core material.

It could be they figured this out early on, and found a better way to reduce weight is to add skin beads and internal stiffeners to the pack case.

Like most here, I am curious how they made a smaller and lighter pack of roughly similar capacity just by tweaking cell chemistry.

Are you talking about the original S modules? There definitely were two modules in the penthouse in the previous design.


They are stacked vertically in there. Remember the larger packs have 16 modules, so the modules weren't that big.

As for how they made this new battery lighter, the rumor is that it is more like the Model 3, with just four long modules. Having less modules with more cells in each allows there to be a lot less casing and tubing. That probably saves a good chunk of weight along with being more space efficient. That allows them to move the cells that were previously in the penthouse into the main body. With the penthouse emptied out, they can move stuff like the onboard charger into there.
 

aerodyne

Nose cone car > MS LR?
Nov 19, 2018
4,582
7,744
Los Angeles
Are you talking about the original S modules? There definitely were two modules in the penthouse in the previous design.


They are stacked vertically in there. Remember the larger packs have 16 modules, so the modules weren't that big.

As for how they made this new battery lighter, the rumor is that it is more like the Model 3, with just four long modules. Having less modules with more cells in each allows there to be a lot less casing and tubing. That probably saves a good chunk of weight along with being more space efficient. That allows them to move the cells that were previously in the penthouse into the main body. With the penthouse emptied out, they can move stuff like the onboard charger into there.

Yes, there were two modules in the penthouse of the older MS.

What I am saying is that there does not seem to be enough room in the penthouse of the paid pack for a pair of old S type modules
 
Yes, there were two modules in the penthouse of the older MS.

What I am saying is that there does not seem to be enough room in the penthouse of the paid pack for a pair of old S type modules

Oh, right. There isn't. There's the charger in there, I assume.

1623725133717.png



The Model X product page has a more torn down image of the skateboard, you can see cabling going in there.

1623725259269.png
 
Maybe...a long way from the pack (Still Rapid Mate Type?) Connectors in the back.
Not sure what you mean by this? Is rapid mate the name of the connectors they designed to allow the pack to be swapped?

The connectors appear to be totally changed. You can see the charge port cabling plugs right into the battery and the rear drive unit inverter appears to be plugging into the battery from the back side, not from the top. Those aren't highlighted in orange though, so maybe they're coolant lines.
 

aerodyne

Nose cone car > MS LR?
Nov 19, 2018
4,582
7,744
Los Angeles
Not sure what you mean by this? Is rapid mate the name of the connectors they designed to allow the pack to be swapped?

The connectors appear to be totally changed. You can see the charge port cabling plugs right into the battery and the rear drive unit inverter appears to be plugging into the battery from the back side, not from the top. Those aren't highlighted in orange though, so maybe they're coolant lines.


Yes, the rapid mates are what they are called in the EPC for the old MS. I had the unpleasant experience of having yhe pack pulled on a low mileage car for bad contactors.

The current connectors look different.

I need to look at these images closer, as I have not seen them before.
 

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