After gaining widespread publicity through leaks and rumors, Tesla’s new battery is now official. Elon Musk took advantage of Tesla Battery Day to lift the veil on the 4680 cell.
Larger than the current generation (2170) thanks to its diameter of 46 mm and 80 mm high, the new lithium-ion cell promises remarkable progress in terms of performance and production cost.
A battery without tabs
While we are a long way from the revolutionary battery with a lifespan of 2 million kilometers that has been mentioned recently by certain media, but Tesla’s new creation promises to be just as interesting. In fact, the 4680 cell is still based on lithium-ion technology. Elon Musk, however, claims to have successfully broken the tabs that are used as connection points between the anode, cathode and battery body.
This design change is considered a significant step forward. In addition to allowing a shortening of the production process, and therefore a reduction in the manufacturing cost, it offers a better power-to-weight ratio. The process also eliminates thermal barriers that affect charge time and reduce the distance electrons must travel.
Five times the energy
In addition, the manufacturer claims to have abandoned the graphite anode in favor of a silicon electrode. The result: a lower cost of the anode to $ 1.2 / kWh. As for the cathode, its material of manufacture will vary depending on the range and nature of the vehicle that the accumulator will power. Tesla will choose for this purpose between iron, nickel-manganese and pure nickel. The latter will notably be integrated into the batteries of the Tesla Semi truck and the Tesla Roadster supercar.
Youtube / Tesla screenshot
Tesla Battery Day: Musk announces new lithium-ion cell, more powerful and less expensive
With these heaps of improvements, Elon Musk assures us that the new 4680 lithium-ion cell delivers five times the power and six times the power of the current 2170 cell. In terms of autonomy, the gain would be 16%. The process should also allow Tesla to reduce the cost of each battery by around 56% per kWh. Feats that Musk says will launch an electric car at $ 25,000 within three years. The firm plans to mass produce the battery from 2025 onwards.