Experts Explain Tesla’s 4680 Battery Production Ramp and Challenges

Tesla has been quite open about the idea that its next generation of vehicles and its goal of 20 million electric vehicles by 2030 would hinge on its ability to scale its production of 4680 batteries. proved particularly difficult.

Unveiled on Battery Day nearly two years ago, the 4680 cells are expected to provide Tesla with substantial manufacturing cost reductions and efficiency gains. According to statements by several experts in the field, using larger cells and a dry coated electrode process could allow Tesla to cut the cost of a Model Y battery in half.

Twelve experts believed to be close to Tesla, or at least familiar with the company’s new battery technology, shared their insights with Reuters. Of the 12 experts, nine are believed to have close ties to Tesla, while three thoroughly examined the company’s previous battery technology in an in-depth teardown.

According to the publication’s sources, Tesla is only halfway to its goal of successfully rolling out its 4680 cells. While the EV maker is already seeing the benefits of using larger cells, Tesla would still struggle to scale its dry-coated electrode process.

Experts say that’s because Tesla’s dry-coated electrode process is so new and unproven that the company always struggles to scale its operations to the point where the savings become substantial. Still, the publication’s sources said Tesla would likely still be able to fully implement the dry-coated electrode process of its 4,680 cells next year.

2019 Nobel laureate and lithium-ion battery pioneer Stan Whittingham believes Tesla will eventually solve the challenges associated with its 4680 battery production ramp, although he also noted that Elon Musk may have been too optimistic about its target timeline for next-gen batteries. go out. “I think he will solve it, but it won’t be as fast as he wants. It’s going to take some time to really test it,” Whittingham said.

ReutersSources noted that if all of the potential efficiencies of using 4680 batteries are realized, the manufacturing cost of the Model Y 4680 structural battery could drop to around $5,000-$5,500, or about half the cost of the Model Y. a 2170 pack. So far, Tesla has reportedly realized cost savings of around $2,000 to $3,000, primarily due to its use of larger cells.

With Tesla’s 2170 battery packs, the company would use about 4,400 cells for the Model Y. The 2170 packs also require 17,600 points that must be soldered — about four solders per cell — to create a battery that can be integrated into the all electric. crossing. This is greatly reduced with the use of 4680 cells. Experts noted that Tesla only needed 830 cells for its Model Y 4680 structural pack, and since there are only two solder points for each cell, the total number of solder points per vehicle drops to just 1,660 dots.

But while Tesla has made tons of progress with its 4680 batteries, and the company is already realizing cost savings from its use of larger cells, the electric vehicle maker has yet to master and evolve its dry electrode process. Once that’s done, Tesla could effectively achieve the holy grail of its next-gen batteries. “Inflating the battery cell has helped a lot in increasing efficiency, but pushing for 50% savings for the cell as a whole is another matter. That will depend on Tesla’s ability to successfully deploy the dry coating process in a factory,” said one of the Reuters‘ said sources.

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Experts Explain Tesla’s 4680 Battery Production Ramp and Challenges

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