News hardware Tesla’s new battery is coming: it’s going to make sparks!
Tesla is finally starting to produce its own next-generation batteries. The 4680 cells announce many improvements for the future of high-end and entry-level automobiles.
Tesla launches mass production of its battery
It’s finally happening, Tesla will start mass production of its new batteries. Currently delegated to LG, Panasonic and Samsung, but also to the Gigafactory in Fremont, Californiathe production of 4680 cells is accelerating. This allowed Tesla to see pilot lines from the three manufacturers, in order to develop its own optimized production tools. Eventually, the batteries will be manufactured at Gigafactories in Berlin, Austin, Nevada, Fremont and Shanghai.
This new battery format promises many improvements. The energy density has been greatly increased, which offers a 16% greater autonomy. Each cell is larger, which multiplies by five the amount of energy that can be stored in each. The power has itself been multiplied by six.
All of its improvements were essential to deliver on the promises of Tesla’s three future vehicles. The Cybertruck and the Roadster must be powerful and accumulate a great autonomy. The Semi, Tesla’s heavyweight, must have enough range for the trucks to cover most trips without having to recharge en route.
Where are these “revolutionary” batteries located?
For the moment, they can be found in the battery packs of the Tesla Model Y leaving the factory in Austin, Texas. Even if some users do not notice any improvement in autonomy. This may be due to a software limitation of newer battery packs to make them equal to models with older packs. Charging, on the other hand, is also probably restricted, which seems more surprising.
The current objective is to boost the production of new batteries as much as possible to reach 4 GWh per year before the end of the year. This represents around 1000 electric cars per week. Elon Musk assures that despite the delays, this objective will be respected.
Berlin will use 4680 cell with structural battery pack & front & rear single piece castings. Also, a new paint system.
Lot of new technology will happen in Berlin, which means significant production risk. Fremont & Shanghai will transition in ~2 years when new tech is proven.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 7, 2020
It is in the Gigafactory in Berlin that most of the large-scale tests will be carried out. Elon Musk explains in a Tweet that in the factory the 4680 batteries will be used and that the Gigapress will make it possible to form the front and the rear of the cars in one block. The paint system will also be improved.
With so many improvements, Elon Musk points out that the risks of production problems are significant. Fremont and Shanghai are expected to follow a two-year transition, learning from the experience of the Gigafactory Berlin.