Tesla 4680 vs 2170 battery cell test exposes lower energy density in the Texas-made Model Y

Giga Texas assembles the 4680 Model Y (image: Tesla)
Giga Texas puts together the 4680 Model Y (image: Tesla)

Those Model Y purchasers who queue for an Austin-made system with the ‘innovative’ 4680 battery cell might remain in for a dissatisfaction. A teardown and analysis of one such cell returned lower energy density than that of the Model Y with 2170 battery. Still, Tesla take advantage of the lower per-pack cost.

After a Model Y cell-to-chassis 4680 battery platform teardown that exposed it’s nigh difficult to change the pack’s private battery cells, now those exact same cells were checked for energy density and chemical structure, verifying the rather frustrating arise from previous 4680 teardowns It ends up that Tesla’s promoted 4680 battery has lower energy density than the reliable 2170 cells it’s been putting in its electrical lorries en masse. -LRB-

The analysis returned244 Wh/kg energy density for a nearly brand-new Model Y 4680 battery cell, compared to 269 Wh/kg for the common Panasonic 2170 cells that Tesla utilizes in its long-range lorries here in the United States. This jibes with current discoveries that the primary factor Tesla is utilizing 4680 batteries at the minute is to cut production expenses, instead of any of the other pie-in-the-sky benefits revealed on Battery Day a couple of years back.

A Model Y’s 4680 pack, for example, is US$ 3,600 less expensive to make than one with 2170 cells, however even then Tesla is just midway through with the expense decrease capacity of the brand-new innovation. It has yet to master and scale the dry-coating cathode technique which would bring the pack’s expense down US$ 5,500 compared to the 2170 battery.

For now, the battery that remains in the Model Y put together in the Austin factory is more affordable to produce than the 2170- geared up systems since the bigger cells enable producing effectiveness leading to a lighter pack. The Tesla 4680 cell analysis discovered it to have thicker walls than its 2170 equivalent, as the cell-to-chassis innovation really utilizes the cans as structural packs for the automobile. That’s one little factor for its lower energy density, balanced out by utilizing a much thicker cathode in the 4680 cell, sadly still made with the slower and pricey wet-coating approach.

The thicker cathode just bumps the 4680 capability by 15% compared to the one in the 2170 cell, however, as it utilizes less nickel in its chemical structure. Rather, there is more of the pricey however less effective cobalt for factors that may relate to the current difficulties in nickel supply The other huge factor for the remarkable energy density of Panasonic’s 2170 cells is that they have 10% silicon in their anode, whereas the 4680 system has none. -LRB-

All in all, nevertheless, if accounting for all those structural and chemical structure distinctions, the 4680 and 2170 battery cells that Tesla usages have actually quite comparable changed energy density. It’s simply that the 4680 is not presently measuring up to its complete capacity however for its expense advantages that keep Tesla’s earnings margins undamaged.

Tesla might have other Model Y variations with a 4680 battery in the works, however, as it was simply approved 3 Certificates of Conformity for the 2023 Model Y by the EPA These consist of an AWD Model Y Long Range, along with an AWD Model Y Performance and an AWD Model Y, too. Let’s not forget that the 4680 cell sourced for this analysis was produced over the summer season, and the production techniques might be enhanced for the brand-new 2023 Model Y variations, too. -LRB-

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