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Tesla Car Battery from the Inside

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Tesla Car Battery from the Inside



Tesla’s approach to battery technology keeps it ahead in the EV industry. The most distinguishable and remarkable feature about the brand is their own battery supply that has been acquired through an exclusive deal with Panasonic and the companies’ jointly owned battery factory – “Gigafactory” in Nevada. However, the latest news about Tesla is that the company would invest in experimenting and developing their own batteries near their main car factory in Fremont. Elon Musk, founder and CEO, has stated that battery supplies from Panasonic were insufficient and are one of the main constraints for the production.

Let’s dig deeper under their model specifications:

Tesla have the following car models Model S and X – 375 volts and Model 3 – 350 volts. But these figures are not final since batteries in an electric car come in a pack that consist of several cells. The models also come in several levels depending on the stored energy and voltages are not necessarily the same. Let’s look at how these battery packs are configured

Photo

Tesla cars’ only source of power is a battery pack, also known as Energy Storage System. The battery pack is made up of several individual cells. Tesla Roadster, Model S and Model X use the 18650 battery cells manufactured by Panasonic exclusively for Tesla. Each one of the 18650 cells is about 64mm long and 18mm in diameter. Actually, it is only slightly bigger than an AA battery size, almost the same size as batteries used for laptops. In fact, the press used to refer to the 18650 as “laptop batteries,” and they are not far from the truth because the earlier Roadsters used store-bought type cells. It was only in 2010 that Panasonic and Tesla worked together to improve the battery cells used in Tesla cars to make them safer and more reliable for automotive use

To lower cost and augment cell efficiency, Tesla built a huge battery manufacturing facility in Sparks, Nevada called Gigafactory 1. The factory is presently producing a newer and larger battery cell which the company named 21700 or 21-70 since it has a diameter of 21 mm and height of 70 mm. The 21-70 was initially used for the Powerpack, Tesla’s utility storage products and the Powerwall, the company’s home storage products. It is also presently being used for the Tesla Model 3 electric car. The new battery cell is not only bigger but also cheaper to produce than the 18650. According to some reports, the 21-70 is not only 40% bigger in volume but is also more energy efficient by as much as 10% to 15% than the 18650.

Tesla batteries chemistry:

Nickel cobalt aluminum (NCA) chemistry is being used for the Li-ion 21-70 as well as for the earlier 18650. Meanwhile, nickel cobalt oxide (NMC) is being used for the Powerpack and Powerwall batteries. The NMC has lower energy density but has extended life cycle. If there are any chemical changes done on the 21700, it is an enigma since Tesla has not revealed it, but rumors persist that the company has increased the silicon content of the anode to bring about better charge density.

How to charge a Tesla:

A Tesla and in fact all EVs can be charged from virtually any kind of electrical outlet. A Tesla comes with a plug for the standard residential outlet, and another plug that fits high current outlets that you can find at RV parks. It’s hard to run out of energy in a Tesla, if you are mindful. The navigation screen shows you how much energy it takes to reach your destination and how much you’ll have left upon arrival. If it looks like, you’ll run short the navigation screen also shows you where Tesla’s superchargers and destination chargers are located along your route. The Plug share app on your phone shows a multitude of chargers available all over the country. If you somehow manage to run low on energy you can dramatically extend your range simply by slowing down. Instead of driving 70 MPH drive 60 or less if feasible. If you’re running low Tesla’s nav even recommends the required speed.

To sum up, it looks like Tesla are making a huge step ahead in Electrical Vehicles development and we all hope that it would lead to a better, environmentally friendly future.

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