Spy photos of the so-called “biscuit” batteries of Tesla (the name they received for their characteristic form) appeared last week, and this week the company officially introduced its own battery cells. It’s became known that they be produced independently. The novelty is marked by 4680 format, where 46 mm is diameter and 80 mm is height.
The biggest problem of such large cells is their heating, but in Tesla solved this problem by cardinal processing of the cell layout. The images below show a clear comparison of old (left photo) and new cells (right photo).
Tesla notes that the increase in size has improved the basic parameters several times, but the power reserve will only increase by 16%. The cost of such cells is 14% lower compared to the current ones, but since the assembled battery requires fewer cells, the savings on the finished battery is even greater. For example, if the battery components themselves for an electric car cost roughly $100 per kWh, then with packaging, controls and cooling the cost rises to $125-130 per kWh, so the total savings when using 4680 cells can reach 20% or even 25%.
Is it much or little? For example, if in 2010 the cost per kWh of a car battery was $1100, in 2019 it was already $156. That is, over 10 years, kWh has become cheaper by 87%. Now Tesla at a time (more precisely, for a year or two) will reduce the cost by another 20-25% – it is significant.
Experts believe that the cost of one kWh of car batteries will fall to $100 by 2023, but Tesla plans to reduce the cost of batteries for their cars during this period even more. The battery for a modern electric car in its assembled form now costs $10,000-12,000, while Tesla expects the price to drop to $6,000 or even lower. This, in turn, will reduce the cost of electric cars to the level of ordinary cars with internal combustion engines. And it is the use of 4680 format elements that is the key solution that will allow Tesla to produce electric cars for $25,000.
By the way, one of the first electric cars of the company with 4680 format cells will be Hurricane Model S Plaid.