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Tesla keeping laptop cells

Discussion in 'Model S' started by malcolm, Jun 24, 2009.

  1. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    #1 malcolm, Jun 24, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2009
    ... for Model S only

    Tesla to keep laptop cells until 3rd-gen car, new Roadster sales pace lagging

    Larger format cells are expected to be used in Bluestar. I must say I thought they'd keep the existing technology for longer, maybe it's a Daimler thing. Or possibly the forecast price/performance improvement in 18650s is just not happening

    My guess its an ESS cost/complexity issue

    Or maybe it's just a way of announcing a delay in the model development timeline :biggrin:

    In other news, new Roadster orders seem to be keeping pace with cancellations. :frown:
  2. bobw

    bobw Tesla Reader

    Sep 7, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    As I understand it, the advantage to the 18650 cell is primarily cost. It's a standard form factor in high volume production, which enables economies of scale. There's a great deal of price pressure on the manufacturers.

    I imagine the larger format cell has technical advantages such as packaging for automotive applications.

    If the demand for automotive cells rises, their manufacturers too will find economies of scale in response to price pressures.
  3. Cobos

    Cobos S60 Owner since 2013 - sold, S85D owner since 2017

    Jun 22, 2007
    Oslo, Norway
    I'm guessing that in addition to a cost advantage they also have nicely tested reliability advantage. There have already been several recalls of batteries that the manufacturers probably learned a lot from. So I find no fault with Tesla sticking to something that works and keeps battery costs lower. They should set up a small engineering group to start work on the "next-gen" ESS though as they need to be able to take advantage of any available technology quickly after it has shown it's reliability and price competitiveness.

  4. Rarity

    Rarity Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2009
    #4 Rarity, Jun 24, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2009
    As far as I recall, the larger format cells use chemistries that have lower energy density. The other battery manufacturers appear to be ready to accept the lower range, unlike Tesla.

    The 18650s are good for what Tesla wishes to achieve. Other companies may wish to achieve different things.

    It should be noted that SpaceX uses different cell chemistry in its batteries than Tesla, based upon the needs of its application. So sticking to 18650s doesn't appear to be an ideological point.

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