- In the future there will only be LFP cells and those with nickel
- Image gallery: Tesla Battery Day 2020
In the future there will only be LFP cells and those with nickel
At the conference call for the last Tesla quarterly figures, CEO Elon Musk indicated that Tesla wants to use fewer different battery cells in the future. With his ideas he is following similar plans from Renault (only NMC cells) and especially VW with its "unit cell".
Currently, Tesla mainly uses cylindrical cells in the format 18650 (for Model S and X) and 2170 (for Model 3 and Y). In the future, 4680 cells will be added. The zero at the end stands for the cylindrical design, the first two digits for the thickness in millimeters and the one or two digits in between for the length in millimeters. The 4680 cell is by far the thickest cell.
However, these are only designs; in addition there is the different chemistry of the cells. According to an overview in the TTF forum, this is currently the case There are three different cells in Model 3 alone:
- Panasonic Nickel-Cobalt-Aluminum Cathode (NCA) cells
- Nickel-Manganese-Cobalt-Cathode (NMC) cells from LG Energy Solution
- Lithium iron phosphate cathode (LFP) cells by CATL
Elon Musk now apparently wants to curb this diversity. So there should only be two or a maximum of three formats and only two different chemistries, namely one with nickel (i.e. NCA or NMC) and one without (LFP): "Just a nickel chemistry and an iron chemistry, so we can don't have to worry about so many variants, "said the Tesla boss.
Three more chemistries were announced at Battery Day. Musk apparently wants to delete cells with a lot of manganese in the future.
Two thirds of all Tesla vehicles are to receive LFP cells, the rest (namely the most sophisticated vehicles) a nickel cell. Stationary storage systems such as the Powerwall for private users and the megapacks for large electricity storage systems for companies and institutions are also to receive LFP cells. The much scarcer nickel should be reserved for more demanding applications.
The nickel cells are to be given the 4680 format and installed directly in the vehicle so that the cells increase the body structure. Tesla often calls this structural battery, alternatively the term cell-to-chassis approach (CTC) naturalized. The LFP cells should be given a different format.
This apparently means that the 4680 cell will remain limited to a third of the vehicles – while at Battery Day at the end of 2020 it still sounded as if they were the ideal solution for more or less all cars. The background is apparently that the production of the particularly large cells is not as easy as Musk thought.
From the 4680 cell, Musk promised true miracles at Tesla Battery Day 2020
The Model Y from the new Gigafactory in Grunheide will receive 4680 cells that will be installed directly in the car. But now Musk said that if necessary, 2170 cells could also be installed without the structural battery approach.
Image gallery: Tesla Battery Day 2020
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