Battery technology

Battery technology

When I placed the order for our signature X five years ago, we were told that one option would be to preorder a replacement battery when new technology became available. We were even told it would be a $10k option. At our purchase time, that option was no longer available. Since that time, the top battery available up to this time is a 100kw system with a range better than our P90D. I keep waiting for new technology, like the evolution from lithium ion batteries to circuit system or bio system batteries. Hopefully, we will get some information on these forums when the next development is near.

lilbean | January 6, 2019

We were also told we would have FSD. Sad. :(

inconel | January 7, 2019

Bio system batteries like in the Matrix?

jimglas | January 7, 2019

I am waiting for my flux capacitor

jjgunn | January 7, 2019

I've been driving 88 MPH but still not traveling back in time

afroumis | January 7, 2019

Not sure if the model 3’s batteries would ad much range unless they could significantly increase the kw’s in the same footprint.

Tesla Tony | January 8, 2019

I'm hoping for a battery exchange in future. Did even hashtag it to elon musk . I guess am too small a fry for any kind of response. Cold weather is hard the 2018 model X. If we have an upgrade option to 400miles at least that would be a much needed relief. | January 8, 2019

@sheldonjawline123 - is a spam bot - please flag.

@afroumis - To get more range like the 3 you also need to lower the vehicle weight, and reduce the coefficient of drag, use a more efficient motors, reduce the peak performance and reduce the power draw by electronics with newer designs. Some, but not all of this will occur someday on the S and X. | January 8, 2019

The current Model X would require at least a 110 kWh battery pack to attain a range of 300 miles at highway speed.
I think Tesla could offer such a battery pack if they used a little over 6,000 2170 cells instead of the 8256 18650 cells used in the current 100 kWh pack.

vinitapoojari006 | January 12, 2019

I'm hoping for a battery exchange in future. Did even hashtag it to elon musk . I guess am too small a fry for any kind of response. Cold weather is hard the 2018 model X. If we have an upgrade option to 400miles at least that would be a much needed relief.

Uncle Paul | January 12, 2019

Believe the problem will be them making a higher capacity battery that will fit into the current space. The newer cells seem to be taller, and that would probably not fit into the existing space.

Guess the real answer is that to get increased miles the cost effective answer would be to trade in your older Tesla for a newer one.

Some feel that the recent news of eliminating the current 75 Kwh battery pack is fortelling of a new configuration coming sometime soon. Will need to wait and see. The upgraded to V3 of the Superchargers might need the upgrade to the battery packs as well to get much faster charging speeds. | January 12, 2019

@ Uncle Paul : The 2170s are only 5 mm taller than the 18650s or about 3/16 inch. I'm pretty sure that they can easily accommodate that extra height without making the battery pack higher. I think actually that 5,888 2170s would be enough to provide 110 kWh of capacity. The horizontal area required would be about 3% less than needed today for the 8,256 18650s in the 100 kWh pack. | January 12, 2019

There is a misconception about charging speeds. Tesla battery packs cannot charge any faster than a single cell.
Cells charge at a maximum voltage of 4.2 volts. Tesla limits charging current to 4 amps max for the 18650 cells and about 6 amps max for the 2170s (The precise current maximum has not been published to my knowledge.). That's a maximum of 4.2 X 4 = 16.8 watts per cell for the 18650s and 4.2 X 6 = 25.2 watts per cell for the 2170s.

Max power that can be applied to battery packs:

90 kWh pack : 7104 18650 cells X 16.8 watts = 119.3 kW
100 kWh pack: 8256 18650 cells X 16.8 watts = 138.7 kW
75 kWh LR pack: 4416 2170 cells X 25.2 watts = 111 kW
Hypothetical 110 kWh pack: 5888 2170 cells X 25.2 watts = 148 kW

These examples show that raising the Supercharger max power to greater than about 150 kW is of no use for the current battery chemistry and pack dimension. You could double up packs like I think they do in the new roadster and use more power by in effect charging two packs in parallel. This would probably require two charging cable hookups because one cable would have to be so heavy duty that it would be hard to manipulate. Maybe you will have to park the new roadster midway between two Supercharger stands to make use of two cables at once without changing the current design of the charging stands/hookups.

jjgunn | January 13, 2019

Is it possible to squeeze 8832 - 2170 cells into a Model X? Thereby creating a 150 kWh battery pack? Also increasing range to ~450 miles

Redmiata98 | January 13, 2019

George, I would be very happy to be getting 119.3 on my 2016 P90 because the highest it charges at lately is 93 :-) | January 14, 2019

@jgunn - I'd say unlikely. The 2170 cells are also larger in diameter (.5mm, but it adds up). Also the added weight could be a problem without structural changes to the X. | January 15, 2019

As @TeslaTap says, 8832 2170s would not fit. I believe they are actually 3 mm greater in diameter than the 18650s (21 mm Vs. 18 mm). As pointed out above 5,888 2170s take up almost the same horizontal area as 8256 18650s found in the current 100 kWh pack.

jjgunn | January 15, 2019

Gotta find a way to extract more juice out of the same physical size cell then.

I want Tesla EV's (S3X) to have 600 miles range. Yes I know the Roadster will have that & the semi will have 500. | January 16, 2019

600 miles of rated range could be achieved with today's 2170s with a pack having something like 11,712 cells. It could occupy the same area as today's 100 kWh pack but would be twice as high. It would weigh more than 1500 pounds. It could accept up to 300 kW of power, over 700 amps of current. A charging cable 4 times as heavy as today's supercharger cable would be required.

More practical would be a double pack arrangement with today's cells, either charging one pack at a time from a single Supercharger station or two packs in parallel from two stations. The semi apparently has 4 or 8 Model 3 battery packs that are to be charged in parallel.

Battery development is a slow process because every change in chemical constituents of the electrolyte or the electrodes that increases energy density must be accompanied by years of testing to insure that battery life and safety under various stress and environmental conditions is acceptable.

jimglas | January 16, 2019

troll flagged

Uncle Paul | January 16, 2019

Tesla has mentioned that they are working on a newer design battery pack that will be both better and less expensive to produce. Believe that this is their path to make the long awaited $35,000 Model 3.

If successful that technology should find it's way into the entire model line.

Do not believe that Tesla is currently offering any upgrade path for owners wanting to trade their existing batteries in for new, improved packs. | January 16, 2019

@Uncle Paul: My guess is that the $35,000 Model 3 battery pack will be a smaller version of the mid-range pack using 2170 cells that Tesla appears to have done a nice job of producing in quantity working with Panasonic. Relatively high energy density at very low cost. It is doubtful that any other carmaker can match Tesla's battery costs. I think it is improbable that they will show up with a new Lithium ion cell design any time soon but you never know.

Upgrades to new, improved packs are more thinkable for the Models S and X because of the ease of physically replacing the pack, although there may be other complications. Model 3 not so easy because the battery pack seems to be more integral with the frame of the car. But I'm certainly not an authority on this.