Tesla shares rare details about latest-gen battery cells designed for Model 3
California-based electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Motors has released some hitherto-unknown information about its newest generation of battery cells -- the 2170 li-ion cells -- which have been designed for the company’s Model 3 electric vehicle (EV). The battery cells are being produced by Japanese manufacturer Panasonic at Tesla’s Gigafactory 1 located in Nevada.
Although Panasonic has been producing the 2170 li-ion cells for Tesla Model 3 since June 2017, not much was known about these cells till now.
In sharing some details about the 2170 li-ion cells in its recently-published shareholder’s letter, Tesla has claimed that the battery cells use a lower content of cobalt, and are “the highest energy density cells used in any electric vehicle.”
For manufacturing these battery cells, Tesla and Panasonic have worked together to tune the chemistry of the Panasonic-manufactured 18650 battery cells which have been in use by Tesla for its EVs since its origin. The move to build the cells with a new chemistry resulted from the fact that the battery pack architecture of Model 3 has been designed by Tesla around a new larger 2170 cell format.
In its shareholder’s letter, Tesla has mentioned that it was able to achieve the ‘highest energy density’ on the market with the 2170 li-ion cells “by significantly reducing cobalt content per battery pack while increasing nickel content and still maintaining superior thermal stability.”
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Japanese electronics giant Panasonic has recently disclosed it is planning a 30 percent increase in the production of battery cells at Tesla Gigafactory 1 by the end of year 2018.
According to a recent confirmation by German automaker BMW via Reuters, the company has signed a battery-supply contract with Chinese battery manufacturer CATL.
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