Tesla 4680 battery cell details revealed, to make its way into Cybertruck
Tesla announced the 4680 battery cell back in 2020 during the company's Battery Day event. The EV manufacturer claimed that the new battery pack will come as more affordable than the existing 2170 battery pack, while the energy density and efficiency too will be increased. The automaker claimed that the cost of the 4680 battery pack would be down by 50 per cent compared to the 2170 format cell. Tesla has already started using this battery pack occasionally in some Model Y cars, and full-fledged use will commence with the Cybertruck, which is about to enter production soon.
Since announcing the new battery pack three years ago, Tesla has been trying hard to increase the production number for the new type of battery cell, and it got some impressive results along the way. The auto company reached nearly one million cells per week at the end of 2022 at the Fremont facility.
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During the Q1 2023 earnings call, Tesla's senior vice president of engineering Drew Baglino said that the cell factory is currently being built and commissioned. “For the Cell Factory, for the Texas 4680 factory, we are part way through building and commissioning and installing and operating, will be 70% lower capex per gigawatt hour than typical cell factories when fully ramped in line with what we described on Battery Day. And we’re continuing to further pursue densification and investment reduction opportunities in future factory buildouts like in Nevada," he said.
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Speaking about the cell's design, he hinted that the company has further advanced from what it showcased during the Battery Day event three years ago. “On the cell design, we’re in production with not only the first generation tabless cell we unveiled on Battery Day, but a second more manufacturable version in Texas today. On the cathode material side, we have a number of activities underway per the Battery Day roadmap. For lithium, our Corpus Christi Lithium Refinery breaks ground this May. Our goal is to start commissioning portions of the facility for the end of the year. The refinery uses the sulfate-free refining process with reduced process costs, no acid or caustic reagents, and lower embodied energy. It actually produces a beneficial byproduct that can be re-purposed in construction materials," added Baglino. He also added that the priority is now to reduce the cost of production as much as possible in preparation for the Cybertruck production ramp-up, which is expected to take place at the beginning of 2024.