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Tech Improvements Unveiled on Battery Day

Cosmacelf

Well-Known Member
Mar 6, 2013
8,610
20,622
San Diego
The energy content only went up 5X, where volume increased by 5.5X, denoting a volumetric energy density DECREASE for the cell. Does this mean the gains in range were purely gravimetric energy density increases? They do gain in footprint because of extra cell height and no cooling channels, so they can fit more energy in a pack.

I don't know. There was a lot of stuff in that presentation that was misleading. Touting 5x energy increase in big bold letters at the beginning was kinda ridiculous since the volume was 5.5x as you pointed out. The more I think about the presentation, the less I'm blown away by it. If you're going to give details, then make it real details, not crayon level crap.

Real battery researchers spot those kinds of misleading numbers right away. Obviously the presentation was for a less technical audience. And to be fair there was indeed a LOT of good technology shown like tabless, dry electrode, silicon anode, structural cells, etc. But again, it was shown at a high level with a lot of "secret sauce" as Elon called it, not shown.

It would be nice if one of the youtubers that Elon follows were to ask him some questions, like: Why did the energy density of the cell drop? That 5x number, was it gravimetric or volumetric energy increase?

The other thing I'd like to know is how much graphite vs silicon is in their new anode. Is it all silicon now and no graphite? Have they proven long cycle life with that new anode?

BTW, you'll note there was zero talk of electrolyte improvements. More secret sauce, no doubt.
 

GenSao

Member
Aug 3, 2017
550
938
Pleasant Hill, CA
Elon Tweet today:

Q: elon, are you guys making 4680 cells with three different cathodes? or when you talked about a diversified approach were you talking about your external suppliers ?

Elon: Suppliers. We’re only doing high energy nickel ourselves, at least for now. Also, maybe the presentation wasn’t clear that we’ve actually had our cells in packs driving cars for several months. Prototypes are trivial, volume production is hard.

-----------------------------------

I infer from this that they don't have the intellectual property to do the more "normal" cathodes, like LiFePO4, or they are just concentrating their research on ultra high energy cells.

Also of interest that their cells are already being used in beta test cars. But as Elon said, those are just prototype cells - need to figure out how to make those cells cheap enough in high volume.

I believe Tesla will continue to rely on 3rd party suppliers for the 2170 (and 1850) cells. The Model S plaid and new product lines will get the 4680 cell staring in 2021. Eventually all Model S and X trims will have the 4680 and the 1865 (aka 18560) cell may be retired by 2023. Potentially sooner, depending on Tesla's agreement with Panasonic.

Below is my educated guess on how Tesla will adjust the cells in their lineup.

Batt.JPG


The Iron based 2170 is rolling out to Made in China Model 3 now. I imagine the Fremont made SR and SR+ trims later this year (or early next year) will have the iron based 2170. Powerpack and Megapack may transition to iron based 2170 in 2021.

I imagine the Model 3 any Y P trims may get the 4680 cells in 2025. Prehaps even a nickel and magazine version of the 4680 will come out.
 
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Olle

Member
Jul 17, 2013
787
402
Orlando, FL
I believe Tesla will continue to rely on 3rd party suppliers for the 2170 (and 1850) cells. The Model S plaid and new product lines will get the 4680 cell staring in 2021. Eventually all Model S and X trims will have the 4680 and the 1865 (aka 18560) cell may be retired by 2023. Potentially sooner, depending on Tesla's agreement with Panasonic.

Below is my educated guess on how Tesla will adjust the cells in their lineup.

View attachment 592861

The Iron based 2170 is rolling out to Made in China Model 3 now. I imagine the Fremont made SR and SR+ trims later this year (or early next year) will have the iron based 2170. Powerpack and Megapack may transition to iron based 2170 in 2021.

I imagine the Model 3 any Y P trims may get the 4680 cells in 2025. Prehaps even a nickel and magazine version of the 4680 will come out.
that's a great illustration. I'd be curious to know why PowerWall will have Nickel Manganese while Powerpack and Megapacks are Iron based?
 

kbM3

Active Member
May 22, 2017
1,906
9,919
Orlando
In GM's defense, they have a pretty big backlog of ground up new platforms set to release in the next 3 years, and they seem to think the new Ultium batteries are a pretty big step forward. We'll see.

‘Are you referring to the same Ultium where they bragged extensively about the sophistication and complexity of the modules which Tesla just proved unnecessary?
 

kbM3

Active Member
May 22, 2017
1,906
9,919
Orlando
I believe Tesla will continue to rely on 3rd party suppliers for the 2170 (and 1850) cells. The Model S plaid and new product lines will get the 4680 cell staring in 2021. Eventually all Model S and X trims will have the 4680 and the 1865 (aka 18560) cell may be retired by 2023. Potentially sooner, depending on Tesla's agreement with Panasonic.

Below is my educated guess on how Tesla will adjust the cells in their lineup.

View attachment 592861

The Iron based 2170 is rolling out to Made in China Model 3 now. I imagine the Fremont made SR and SR+ trims later this year (or early next year) will have the iron based 2170. Powerpack and Megapack may transition to iron based 2170 in 2021.

I imagine the Model 3 any Y P trims may get the 4680 cells in 2025. Prehaps even a nickel and magazine version of the 4680 will come out.

You think Model S Plaid will not incorporate Cell to Structure? If they do, it’s hard to believe there’d be that large a difference between garden variety SX and Plaid. Plus SX is way overdue for a complete redesign.
 

Olle

Member
Jul 17, 2013
787
402
Orlando, FL
You think Model S Plaid will not incorporate Cell to Structure? If they do, it’s hard to believe there’d be that large a difference between garden variety SX and Plaid. Plus SX is way overdue for a complete redesign.
It would be very surprising if it doesn't have cell to body. Especially since Elon has already said that the Plaid S third row will have more headroom. That's already tells us that it will have a new floorpan. Another thing that most people don't seem to realize is that all S and X will be tri motor, especially since it will be cheaper than dual motor to make by ditching differential, middle gear and perhaps the rear brakes.
 
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SmartElectric

Active Member
Jul 9, 2014
2,515
2,165
Toronto,Canada
It would be very surprising if it doesn't have cell to body. Especially since Elon has already said that the Plaid S third row will have more headroom. That's already tells us that it will have a new floorpan. Another thing that most people don't seem to realize is that all S and X will be tri motor, especially since it will be cheaper than dual motor to make by ditching differential, middle gear and perhaps the rear brakes.

Please provide links. I haven't seen anything like these statements made in the public.
 

Olle

Member
Jul 17, 2013
787
402
Orlando, FL
Please provide links. I haven't seen anything like these statements made in the public.
Here
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1173993213234798592?ref_src=twsrc^tfw|twcamp^tweetembed|twterm^1173993213234798592|twgr^share_3&ref_url=https://electrek.co/2019/09/17/tesla-model-s-2020-plaid-rear-facing-seats-elon-musk/

The rest hasn't been published and is fairly easy to deduct from that tweet. Unless we believe that the extra space will result from a new body shell. But the Plaid that is taking orders is the current body shell. Tri motor layout gives you deeper third row which is what he is referring to. To believe that they will make a yet another production line for a reversed dual motor subframe just for Model S sounds expensive and far fetched. Or they could make a second body shell version with the old trunk underbody to accommodate the current subframe which sounds even more far fetched and expensive. Conclusion: all Model S will be tri motor. The base models will of course be power limited and perhaps lack some of the speed tuned pieces, wide tires and tri motor badge.
 
Last edited:

GenSao

Member
Aug 3, 2017
550
938
Pleasant Hill, CA
You think Model S Plaid will not incorporate Cell to Structure? If they do, it’s hard to believe there’d be that large a difference between garden variety SX and Plaid. Plus SX is way overdue for a complete redesign.

I think the Model S plaid will use the 4680 cell to structure introduced in battery day. My chart is a bit conservative in assuming the LR and P variants of the S and X will remain using the 1865 cell and not incorporate cell to structure for a year or two.

The plaid S's price point justifies the specialization as the initial $/kWh of 4860 will be high . After some iteration of the plaid S, I think Tesla will expand the 4860 cells to the rest of the S and X lines and finally retire the 1865 cell. It is entirely possible all the S and X variants get changed to 4860 as early as late 2021, but i am very doubtful as Tesla is battery constrained.

I believe the Model 3 and Y will only get the 4860 once Tesla has spare battery capacity outside of providing cells for high margin performance (S, X, & Roadster) and weight sensitive (Semi and Cybertruck) vehicles.
 

SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
12,383
15,312
New Mexico
Seems pretty easy to guess that the first model to get the 4860 cells will be the Plaid. The increased energy density of the bigger cell in conjunction with cell to vehicle covers the kWh and range increase. I'm clueless how the 3 motors will be packaged. The relatively low demand for the Plaid also meshes quite nicely with Tesla's roadmap for 4680 cell production.

It works out that the Plaid will be the fleet test vehicle(s) for the new tech as cell production ramps.
 

SmartElectric

Active Member
Jul 9, 2014
2,515
2,165
Toronto,Canada
The relatively low demand for the Plaid also meshes quite nicely with Tesla's roadmap for 4680 cell production

Um, as my Plaid Cybertruck is on reserve and projected late 2021 delivery, I suspect a lot of Plaid demand, possibly in the 200000 + vehicles, not just Model S of course, but I wouldn't count on low demand to mesh with cell roadmap...
 

SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
12,383
15,312
New Mexico
Um, as my Plaid Cybertruck is on reserve and projected late 2021 delivery, I suspect a lot of Plaid demand, possibly in the 200000 + vehicles, not just Model S of course, but I wouldn't count on low demand to mesh with cell roadmap...
Don't worry, I was not throwing shade on your tri-motor cybertruck plans. I meant that the Fremont 'mini-line' will be enough 4680 cell production for the Model S Plaid, and as Tesla moves to high volume cell production they will produce the Tesla Semi and Cybertruck in volume.
 
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themorey

Member
Feb 15, 2020
89
109
USA
BTW, you'll note there was zero talk of electrolyte improvements. More secret sauce, no doubt.
I've been wondering about this since battery day. All the changes announced were independent of the electrolyte used, which Elon mentioned. I'm of the opinion {speculation} that Tesla is going to use Dr Goodenough's new glass electrolyte and blow everyone away. Maybe it's not ready yet but I think they beat other SSBs to market and their high volume production methods are far beyond what anyone else can do.
 

Cosmacelf

Well-Known Member
Mar 6, 2013
8,610
20,622
San Diego
I've been wondering about this since battery day. All the changes announced were independent of the electrolyte used, which Elon mentioned. I'm of the opinion {speculation} that Tesla is going to use Dr Goodenough's new glass electrolyte and blow everyone away. Maybe it's not ready yet but I think they beat other SSBs to market and their high volume production methods are far beyond what anyone else can do.

That would be awesome, but has there been any reported collaboration between Goodenough and Tesla?
 

themorey

Member
Feb 15, 2020
89
109
USA
That would be awesome, but has there been any reported collaboration between Goodenough and Tesla?
It's all speculation but no direct collaboration I can find. If you Google "Elon musk john Goodenough" there is some good info. One of the articles is from 2015 with Goodenough and UTA trying to get the NV gigafactory in Austin so they could collaborate. Another article with an Elon tweet in 2017 about SSB in general and more specifically about having a confidentially agreement with one in particular. And of course more smoke is the new factory in Austin, which includes battery production.
 

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