Tesla has unveiled plans to develop a ‘tabless’ battery that will allow it to dramatically reduce costs and improve the range of its vehicles.
Speaking at the automaker’s recent Battery Day, Elon Musk revealed the car manufacturer had removed the tab from the battery cell. This part is normally used to form a connection between the cell and what it is powering. With the new tabless cells, Tesla claims they have five times more energy capacity, are six times more powerful, and result in a 16 per cent range improvement for the company’s models.
Tesla refers to the cells as ‘4680’, in reference to them measuring 46 mm by 80 mm. They are bigger than Tesla’s current cells and, according to Musk, will also result in a 14 per cent reduction in cost per KWh at the cell form factor level.
Key to the 4680 battery cells is that Tesla themselves will manufacture them. As The Verge points out, the Model 3 and Model Y use the company’s current 2170 cells that are produced by Panasonic at Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada. Tesla also sources batteries from China’s CATL, South Korea’s LG Chem, and others.
Tesla has yet to announce when it will begin manufacturing these cells and which of its models will be the first to receive them.
News of this new battery cell comes at the same time Tesla lifted the veil on the long-awaited Model S Plaid, complete with over 1,100 hp and a range exceeding 520 miles. The company has also confirmed plans to produce a $25,000 electric car in the next three years.