Is Model S going to use new version of Panasonic 18650 series battery?

Is Model S going to use new version of Panasonic 18650 series battery?

It was said with 300miles range package, Model S is equipped with Panasonic NCR18650A which is a minimum 2.9AH lithium-ion battery. But Panasonic promised two different versions of this 18650A. Both versions will in-cooperate better production/construction of the battery without significant changes in the chemistry of the batteries. This will lead to a higher energy-density-to-volume but energy-density-to-weight will remain the same. The new battery, which is supposed to come out in March 2013, will have phenomenal 735wh/L. So will Model S be re-modeled with the new battery once they are available?

David M. | September 2, 2011

Wouldn't it be great if the Disney hotel you like to stay at had a charging station in their parking lot? If I'm going to be at Disney for a few days, I'd like to charge my car there, not at a restaurant 2 miles away.

That's the problem. Local governments are spending money putting charging stations in places where people only park for an hour or less. Using a Level 2 charging station, you are only going to get about 20 miles of range on 1 hour of charging. Using a Level 1 charging station, you will only get about 5 miles of range on 1 hour of charging.

Hardly anyone is putting them where people are parking for 8 hours or more. Doesn't make sense.
- Hotels (12 hours)
- Theme Parks (8 hours)
- Places of employment (for commuters) (8 hours)
- Airports (days)
- Stadiums (3 - 4 hours)
- etc.

These are the places they need to be first.

gjunky | September 3, 2011

@David M: Your logic makes perfect sense.

I would also like to see charge stations along freeways, of course these would have to be level-3 chargers.

@Larry: Almost all the chargers in the US shown on that web site are Nissan dealers :)

Brian H | September 3, 2011

If Roadster owners are any guide, you'll probably put a lot more miles on the 'S' than on your ICE car(s). Just because.

Larry Chanin | September 3, 2011

@gjunky ,

Yes, I have to admit that David makes a lot of excellent points. Orlando apparently has a lot more public chargers than other areas in Florida, but they are not ideally located. I can however, envision Disney Deluxe Resort Hotels being one of the first to implement chargers. It is true that Nissan has a lot of installations in the State, but in Orlando most of them appear to be local municipal sponsored public chargers.

In the past I've never been much of a driver, but its true the prospect of getting a Model S has turned me into an enthusiast literally overnight. To those who know me its rather amusing to see my transformation. I'm a home theater enthusiast and tomorrow afternoon I'm having a few guys over, to watch a "guys" movie. Most of them are members of a local Corvette club. Before the main feature I plan on showing them some Model S and maybe some Roadster videos. It will be interesting to see their reactions, both to the Model S and to Larry becoming a "car guy". ;-)


Brian H | September 4, 2011

Hm, a heady afternoon of human and auto porn! Let us know how it goes ...


EmperorTytus | October 15, 2014

Hmm, it seems the 4.0 Ah 18650 was scheduled for release in March of 2013. Did Panasonic meet that target? Anyone know what their next goal is?

Red Sage ca us | October 15, 2014

Well, it is rather old news, I guess:

Dec 25, 2009 -- Panasonic Develops High-Capacity Lithium-Ion Battery Cells That Can Power Laptops and Electric Vehicles

"The 4.0 Ah cell will be mass produced in fiscal 2013 ending in March 2013. These high-capacity battery cells can make high-energy battery modules."

So... If fiscal 2013 began April 2012.... And the Tesla Model S was released in June 2012... Then maybe the Model S had a version of the 4.0 Ah battery cells in it from the start. And maybe it has something even better today. I'm pretty sure all this is proprietary information, held under non-disclosure agreements by both Panasonic and Tesla Motors. So we'll probably never know for certain. But speculation is certainly fun!

HenryT2 | October 15, 2014

I started reading this thread and though to myself "Hmmmm. Interesting, but there's something off here. The numbers and situations seem a little off."

Who dug up a 3 year old thread and bumped it? There should be a some kind of warning!

EmperorTytus | October 15, 2014

Ha, I'll take the credit/blame for that one. But I had not seen anything about the 4.0 Ah 18650 or its successor anywhere. Rather than sift through volker-dribble, I thought I'd just fling this old post back into the limelight.


Olof | October 15, 2014

Even though it may have started this way with the first roadster prototype, there is probably not a direct correlation between Panasonic's marketing materials and the 18650 cell in a Tesla nowadays, even though they are the supplier.

It is all tailor made now, JV between TM and Panasonic. It is about volume, cost and reliability, specifically for the TM application.
Sounds perhaps strange at first, but if you think about the huge volume of cells that TM uses it makes sense to design this specific 18650 cell for one thing only.

Red Sage ca us | October 15, 2014

Olof: Precisely. I think the 18650 battery cells that Panasonic announced in 2009 were the reason why Tesla Motors chose to work with them in 2010. I agree that those were just a starting point, and that what Tesla actually uses is a different configuration, in terms of specifics, as determined by JB Straubel.

EmperorTytus | October 15, 2014

I also thought I heard JB or EM speculating on ideal cell size for Model ≡... they would increase the dimensions to 227xx or something. But now I can't find the clip anywhere. Didn't mention capacity, but I thout he said the form factor would be ever so slightly taller and wider--22mm diameter and pretty sure 700-something height.

TeoTeslaFan | October 15, 2014


I think the the 10% increase in diameter and height was mentioned by Elon during the latest conference call on 31 Jul 2014.

You can listen to it here:
Enter any bogus login details you want.

Bighorn | October 15, 2014

70 something height, I think

EmperorTytus | October 16, 2014

Thanks, Bighorn. So if dimensions are going from 18mm diameter/65mm height -> 22mm diameter/70mm height, I calculate a 38% increase in volume if I've done the math correctly. Of course this tells us nothing about number of cells or pack dimensions. But it is quite a bit larger volumetrically than the existing 18650. Interesting.

SD Supercharger | October 16, 2014

If it is approx. the same number of cells--you get to the new 110 kW battery everyone has been talking about. Unfortunately, you will also get a 38% increase in weight

Brian H | October 16, 2014

It would have to be better per unit charge capacity, not per cell.

EmperorTytus | October 16, 2014

If the pack size stays *roughly* the same (have to be a bit taller if they retain the vertical orientation of the cells), say for a future Model S 2.0 perhaps, how many cells would fit into it?

And if Panasonic hit its 4.0 Ah capacity by March of 2013 as they had planned (I have not confirmed this), then what would the capacity of said new pack be?

(I know this whole line of inquiry is fraught with assumptions, but it's interesting to speculate given some of the numbers we think are likely.)

manaf | March 12, 2015

"90kWh around 8000 batteries @3.6V makes single battery ~3.1Ah". Is there any specific reason to avoid high capacity cells instead of using thousands of multiple sells to make single battery bank? High capacity lithium battery has been widely applied in the field of large and light electric vehicles, such as electrical bus, sightseeing bus, hybrid truck, tractor, carried charter, golf cart, ferry vehicle, E car, electrical sanitation truck, electrical motorcycle and all kinds of green environmental vehicle.

mobilepundits2 | March 12, 2015

What Goes Into A Tesla Model S Battery--And What It May cost? | March 12, 2015

To make this more interesting, I was told a month ago by a Tesla employee that Tesla is currently using 18650 cells with a nominal operating voltage of 4 volts increased from 3.6 volts, unannounced. If true, these cells may be residing in the E packs. If all else is the same, these packs could have about 11% more capacity than advertised, giving them as much as 94 kWh capacity, waiting to be announced and tapped with no dimensional changes. Why Tesla would use such cells and keep it secret eludes my understanding. Maybe the source of this information was wrong.

Kutu | March 12, 2015

If Tesla Motors announced it, then a lot of current - especially very recent buyers - owners would start asking for a free upgrade.;)