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Model X with Model 3 Batteries?

JakeP85D

Member
Jul 14, 2016
10
3
San Francisco
We are thinking about buying a Model X, and I am wondering since the Gigafactory is moving full speed ahead, how long it will be before Tesla incorporates the new Reference 2170 size lithium-ion cells with the higher energy density into the Model X and S? The Model S and X currently have the Reference 18650-size lithium-ion cells.

From what I understand the new 2170 cells have up to 30% more energy density and use far less cobalt. This makes them easier to make and less expensive.

My best guess is that one of two things will happen if and when Tesla switches batteries:

Either they will keep the 75D and 100D designation, and put in fewer batteries, which does not seem likely or smart. The other option would be that they would offer a 100D and 130D, both of course with 30% greater range for the same price as the current models.

I know Tesla plans to shut down the Freemont factory for ten days or so in June, so I wonder if at that point they will switch over, or maybe I am being too optimistic?

Any thoughts on what the timeframe would be for this?
 

dhanson865

Active Member
Feb 16, 2013
4,676
7,715
Knoxville, Tennessee
We are thinking about buying a Model X, and I am wondering since the Gigafactory is moving full speed ahead, how long it will be before Tesla incorporates the new Reference 2170 size lithium-ion cells with the higher energy density into the Model X and S? The Model S and X currently have the Reference 18650-size lithium-ion cells.

From what I understand the new 2170 cells have up to 30% more energy density and use far less cobalt. This makes them easier to make and less expensive.

My best guess is that one of two things will happen if and when Tesla switches batteries:

Either they will keep the 75D and 100D designation, and put in fewer batteries, which does not seem likely or smart. The other option would be that they would offer a 100D and 130D, both of course with 30% greater range for the same price as the current models.

I know Tesla plans to shut down the Freemont factory for ten days or so in June, so I wonder if at that point they will switch over, or maybe I am being too optimistic?

Any thoughts on what the timeframe would be for this?

Not until the Model 3 reservation queue is down to 3 months backorder or less. I'll say 2019 as a guess. S and X are luxury items that will be improved but not at the cost of delaying Model 3 production.
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
6,660
7,952
Boise, ID
From what I understand the new 2170 cells have up to 30% more energy density and use far less cobalt. This makes them easier to make and less expensive.
I think you have some of this confused. The energy density factor would have to do with what chemistry is inside them. I don't think there's a very significant change that could account for anything nearly as drastic as 30% increase in energy density. So I'm pretty sure that's not accurate.
What you may be thinking of is each cell holding 30% more total energy. That probably is true, just because the 2170 is a physically larger battery than the 18650. It's like a AA battery holding more energy than a AAA battery--same energy density, but holds more.
Or, there was some discussion about the packing ratio of fitting in cells versus cooling pipes, and how much space went to each. So with the larger cell size, it was hitting a better sweet spot of more energy storage but still having sufficient cooling. So that was talked about as an increase of the storage density % within the space of the overall pack.

But that's been brought up in the previous threads @Tiger linked to. The physical shape of the existing packs that are designed into the Model S and X would not be ideally shaped to take advantage of this rearranging of bigger cells. To get this better packing density, the casing would need to be resized a bit in some dimensions, which was done for the Model 3 right from the beginning because it was meant for those larger cells.
 
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