During Tesla’s Battery Day presentation the company revealed a new battery design the company hopes will increase range and drive down per kilowatt-hour costs.
The new battery design is being referred to by Tesla as a ‘Tabless’ battery. Essentially Tesla has figured out how to remove the tab from the top of the cell; the tab being the usual interface between the cell and whatever it is powering. This change allows Tesla to pack more energy into the cell and reduce costs. Specifically, Tesla says the new battery design packs five-times the energy and is six-times more powerful than the battery’s in today’s Tesla vehicles.
Tesla says the new cells are 46mm by 80 mm, forming its internal name as the ‘4680’ cells. They are larger than today’s Tesla battery cells, but still allow for a 14 percent reduction in per kilowatt-hour costs within the pack.
Perhaps the bigger news here is that Tesla intends to produce the tabless battery in-house. This is a significant change from the company’s current strategy of procuring battery cells from vendor partners, such as Panasonic and LG Chem. Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who announced the new battery cells, did not offer a timeline as to when Tesla plans to begin producing the tabless design.
Tesla also confirmed it plans to produce a $25,000 electric-vehicle sometime within the next three years. Given that project hinges on this tabless battery cell design, one can draw the conclusion we’ll see this new battery design something within three years.