In 1985 everything changed with battery technology with the invention of lithium ion batteries that have continued to remain the driving force behind electric vehicles. The size is 18650 and are very similar to what would look like a AA battery that measures 18 mm x 65 mm or roughly the size of a finger. These batteries are placed next to each other inside an array and are connected in parallel.
The important number to think of with any battery is the watt hours. So if you have a 500 watt hour battery and a 500 watt motor on full power it would last for one hour. So what manufacturers try to do is get as many watt hours as possible out of a battery but you can’t simply add more cells to a battery pack because that adds weight and takes up volume in your limited storage space on the vehicle.
Tesla currently uses the 2170 cell measuring 21 mm x 70 mm that Panasonic and Tesla came up with to try and maximize energy storage and lifespan. However, Tesla released a 46 mm x 80 mm or 4680 battery. Most batteries have tabs that are used to connect it but the Tesla new batteries get rid of tabs and have a shingled spiral design that collects current and reduces resistance which makes manufacturing quicker. The claims are five times more energy 16% more range and six times the power.
So what do these new batteries mean for the electric vehicle industry? Only time will tell but because of technology like this Tesla is trying to produce a $25,000 US car that would have great range and charging capabilities. Because Tesla will be able to produce these batteries in house they claim that it will reduce the cost by up to 56%.
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