Why Tesla’s new cell choice is 4680

Two years ago, Musk revealed at Tesla’s “Battery Day” (Battery Day) that the company will launch epoch-making new battery units to increase cruising range and reduce production costs to support pure electric products such as Cybertruck pickups. of mass production.

This is Tesla’s 4680 cylindrical battery, which is scheduled to reach mass production by the end of 2022.

The full name of the 4680 cylindrical battery is the 4680 specification electrodeless cylindrical battery. Cylindrical battery, as the name suggests, refers to the shape of the battery is cylindrical, 4680 refers to the specification of the battery – 46 refers to the diameter of the cylindrical battery 46mm, 80 refers to the height of the battery 80mm.

According to the data released by Tesla, the energy density of the 4680 battery will be 5 times that of the 2170 battery, and the cruising range of the vehicle will also be increased by 16%. In the future, combined with improvements in battery materials and vehicle design, the net increase in cruising range will be as high as 56%. Production costs can be saved by 54%.


Musk has repeatedly emphasized that the 4680 battery is expected to support the production of up to 1 million electric vehicles in 2022, but today, the mass production of the battery is still in an early and difficult stage.


Although many difficulties have been encountered, Musk is full of confidence in the future of the 4680 battery, claiming that the battery will “completely rewrite the rules of the electric vehicle industry.” If the output at the end of the year can meet expectations, Musk will launch the Cybertruck in mid-2023. In the past two years, this electric pickup truck has repeatedly bounced tickets, which is a typical “pre-motivation, later difficult production.”

However, production of 4680 cells has been limited so much that Tesla has had to continue to rely on 2170 cells produced at its new Texas factory.


“To be clear, we are currently producing EVs with 2170 batteries, and we have enough 2170 batteries for the rest of the new car production this year. Tesla doesn’t need to rely on 4680 batteries this year, however, 4680 batteries will play a role next year. A very important role.” Musk stated at the just past shareholder meeting that the mass production progress of 4680 batteries will not affect Tesla’s goal of producing 1.5 million new cars this year, but 2023 will be different.


At the very least, it is critical to the smooth mass production of the Cybertruck.


When Tesla released the Cybertruck, it promised a series of excellent performance, and the 4680 battery was necessary to realize these promises. Because the 4680 battery uses a lot of innovative technologies, it is difficult for Tesla to predict the speed of its production growth at present. Even Musk, who is at the helm, will only have the confidence to achieve high productivity by the end of this year.


Industry analysts in North America expect Tesla’s 4680 battery capacity to meet expectations until May 2023. In fact, in addition to the slow ramp-up of production capacity, the current mass production of 4680 batteries lacks certain raw materials, as well as manufacturing improvements in the production process.


Some analysts also believe that Tesla’s 4680 seems to be just a “larger” battery, without much technological innovation, and mass production is far behind the original plan. The end result is to affect the mass production of Tesla electric pickup Cybertruck, electric semi-trailer truck Semi and other models.


“It’s a battery show.”


Tesla’s battery innovation has a long way to go, Snow Bull Capital CEO Taylor Ogan, who is also a Tesla owner, told Automotive News. “I always thought that Tesla’s 4680 battery would surpass the 2170 in many ways, but in fact, the bright spot is not outstanding.”


The road ahead is long and setbacks are inevitable.


In Berlin, Tesla has started production of the Model Y based on 2170 cells, and after starting production of the Model Y with 4680 cells at the Texas Gigafactory, the company recently added a Model Y with 2170 cells at the Austin plant.


Globally, many car owners have already obtained the Model Y equipped with 4680 batteries, but compared with the models equipped with 2170 batteries produced by the Fremont factory, it seems that the new cars equipped with 4680 are not as amazing as expected.


The 4680 battery has always been a topic of great concern to investors, as new battery technology and electric vehicle manufacturing ecology are seen as key to Tesla’s future plans. Wall Street analysts with a keen sense of smell have discovered potential problems in the battery field of Tesla, so most of the problems mentioned at the shareholders’ meeting and the second quarter earnings conference some time ago also revolved around the 4680 battery.


Wall Street investment bank Cowen analyst Jeffrey Osborne said in a research note that Tesla has recently encountered difficulties in “technical” areas such as new batteries and autonomous driving. If these problems persist, The electric car maker will face new pressures in the future —


Investors have grown increasingly dissatisfied with Tesla over the past few years due to frequent product bounces and flashy flags.