Think of the 4680 battery as the latest and greatest battery technology yet. It’s a new cell format designed to pack more energy into a smaller space, resulting in an extended range for Teslas. You’ll also enjoy a lower cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh).
So, what are the benefits of the Tesla 4680 battery? For most people, there are two main benefits of the 4680 battery: an extra ±100 miles of added range per charge and a 20%-30% reduction in the cost of ownership over the vehicle’s life.
In this article I discuss everything there is to know about the new 4680 Tesla battery. From costs, energy density, potential issues, weight, solid state battery comparisons, how it’s made and even who makes them. Check it out and please let me know if you find this article helpful.
- The Lowdown on the Tesla 4680 Battery
- Tesla 4680 Battery Maker
- How the Tesla 4680 Battery Works
- How Much the Tesla 4680 Battery Costs
- 4680 (and Other Batteries) for the Model 3
- How the 4680 Compares to Solid-State Batteries
- How the 4680 Batteries Compare to LFP Batteries
- 4680 vs. Blade Battery
- 4680 Batteries for the Cybertruck
- Charging Speed of the 4680 Battery
- Types of Chargers That Can Be Attached to a Tesla 4680 Battery
- The 4680 Comes With Improved Chemistry
- Improved Thermals With the 4680 Battery
- Additional Weight to Teslas From 4680 Battery
- Potential Issues With 4680 Battery
- Why Tesla Is Adding 4680s to the EV Structure
- The Future of Power Storage
- Frequently Asked Questions
The Lowdown on the Tesla 4680 Battery
I like to think of it this way: The average Tesla Model S owner drives about 12,000 miles (19,312.1 kilometers) per year.
With the 4680 battery, they would get an extra 1,200 miles (1,931.2 kilometers) per year (100 miles x 12 months).
Over the course of 5 years, that’s an additional 6,000 miles (9,656.1 kilometers).
Assuming the price of electricity is 4.5 cents per mile, the 4680 battery would save the owner $54 in electricity costs over one year.
In other words, the benefits of the 4680 battery add up to about $270 over five years for the average Tesla Model S owner.
The 4680 battery is named after its dimensions: 46 mm (1.81 in) x 80 mm (3.15 in). 46 is the diameter of the cell, and 80 is the length. (That’s useful to know if you’re shopping for Tesla batteries next time!)
Tesla 4680 Battery Maker
Tesla is currently partnering with Panasonic to make the 4680 battery. The EV company has been working with Panasonic for many years, and it’s no surprise that they’ve decided to continue the partnership with the new 4680 battery.
The two companies started the partnership back in 2011 when Tesla contracted Panasonic to supply the 18650 batteries for their EVs. The partnership has been very successful, and it’s clear both companies are committed to working together.
Did you know:
One 4680 cell can store the same energy as three 2170 cells. This allows for a smaller and lighter battery pack. Tesla is certainly upping their game when it comes to their battery capacities (and they should!).
The 4680 battery is a big improvement over previous generations, thanks to the collaboration of Tesla and Panasonic. Tesla can offer better range, power, and thermal management with the new battery.
Tesla has also made a recycling partnership with the battery maker. The two companies will work together to recycle all Tesla batteries, which is good news for the environment and Tesla’s bottom line.
The 4680 battery is a big step forward for Tesla and its partnership with Panasonic. The new battery represents the best of what both companies have to offer, and it’s clear that they’re committed to making electric cars more efficient.
I wrote an article that could shed some further light on this topic. I compared all the Tesla models and researched how many cells all of the Teslas have. Check it out!
How the Tesla 4680 Battery Works
The 4680 battery cell is significantly larger than the 2170 cell. It’s also cylindrical, rather than the rectangular shape you find in other EVs. The increased size comes with a 15%-20% boost in energy density.
Here’s the thing: Tesla decided not to overcomplicate things like some other EV makers.
Their 2170 cell follows a similar design. The main difference is in the architecture of the cell. With 4680 cells, there are more jelly rolls than ever before. This means more active material in the cell, resulting in more energy storage.
Also, 4680 cells reduce the distance an electrode travels when the cell is charged or discharged. This means these 4680 cells can charge and discharge faster than most EV batteries.
Here’s a Youtube video that goes into the technical details:
How Much the Tesla 4680 Battery Costs
The cost of the 4680 battery varies depending on the amount of power required by the vehicle it’s used in. For example, a Tesla Model S with a 100 kWh battery pack will cost more than a Tesla Model 3 with a 50 kWh battery pack.
Because the 4680 battery is so much more efficient, the cost per kWh will be lower than for other EVs on the market. This is one of the reasons the Tesla 4680 battery is such a game-changer. It’s not just that it packs more energy into a smaller space: It does so at a lower cost.
Compare that to the solid-state battery, which is still in development, and you’ll see why Tesla is ahead of its time with its 4680 batteries. (Then again, things may change once the solid-state battery becomes available for commercial use.)
4680 (and Other Batteries) for the Model 3
Tesla is now offering a variety of battery options with the Model 3, including the option to get it with 4680 batteries. This is an excellent move by the EV maker, as it’ll allow customers to choose the battery that best suits their needs.
Here’s an example of the range you’d get with different Model 3 battery options:
|Standard range||220 miles (354.1 km)|
|Standard range plus||262 miles (421.7 km)|
|Long-range||353 miles (568.1 km)|
|Performance||313 miles (503.7 km)|
However, you’ll have to shell out more money to get the 4680 battery. It’s a relatively new technology, and Panasonic (in collaboration with Tesla) is still working on mass production.
How the 4680 Compares to Solid-State Batteries
It’s safe to say solid-state batteries are the Holy Grail of the EV world. They offer a few advantages over lithium-ion batteries that you just can’t overlook, like:
- They are much more energy-dense. You could get the same range from a smaller and lighter battery pack.
- They are much safer than lithium-ion batteries, as they’re less likely to catch fire.
But there’s a big problem: Solid-state batteries are tough to mass-produce. No company has been able to crack the code just yet, which is why the 4680 battery is a big deal. It offers less than solid-state batteries, but it can be mass-produced.
Basically, the 4680 battery is the best we’ve got until solid-state batteries are finally available for commercial use. That could be five years or more from now.
How the 4680 Batteries Compare to LFP Batteries
Lithium-ion batteries aren’t the only type of battery out there. There’s another battery option that’s becoming increasingly popular: lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries.
LFP batteries have a few advantages over their lithium-ion counterparts, such as:
- They’re much cheaper to produce.
- They’re also much safer, as they’re less likely to burst into flames.
This type of battery is popular with Chinese and Korean EV makers as it helps them keep the cost of their EVs down.
But there’s one drawback.
LFP batteries aren’t as energy-dense as lithium-ion batteries. That means you need a bigger battery pack to get the same range as a same-size lithium-ion battery.
The good news is that the Tesla 4680 battery is just as energy-dense as lithium-ion batteries. You can get the same range from a smaller and lighter battery pack.
So, the 4680 is the best of both worlds. It offers the range of a lithium-ion battery with the safety and cost-effectiveness of an LFP battery.
4680 vs. Blade Battery
The blade battery is another high-density battery option for electric vehicles. It offers many of the same benefits as the Tesla 4680 pack, including an extended range and faster charging times. However, the blade battery isn’t as energy-dense as the 4680 battery.
BYD is the brain behind the blade battery. This Chinese company has been working on the technology for many years, and it’s finally ready for mass production.
One advantage of the blade battery is its shape. It’s a long blade that holds a significant amount of charge. This means it can offer the same range as a larger Lithium-ion pack, but it takes up less space.
The blade battery is also safer than any other battery on the market. It uses a unique combination of materials that have passed the notorious nail penetration test. This test is designed to simulate a worst-case scenario, and the blade battery has passed with flying colors.
I say the blade battery is a strong contender to the 4680. Tesla even uses this juice pack in the base models of the units they produce and sell in China. That says a lot about the battery’s performance, price, and safety.
4680 Batteries for the Cybertruck
Tesla has said that the Cybertruck will come with a “new battery architecture.” This is likely referring to the 4680 power pack. The battery technology will bring many advantages, including increased range and improved safety.
Tesla has also said that the Cybertruck will have a “tri-motor” drivetrain. In other words, it’ll have a range of over 500 miles (805 km). The only problem is that all this new technology will make the truck too expensive for most people.
We’re still not sure about the Cybertuck’s exact specs. But it’s safe to say the 4680 batteries will play a significant role in making that beast of a vehicle come to life.
Charging Speed of the 4680 Battery
The 4680 can go from 10% to 80% in just 15 minutes at a supercharger. This is thanks to the new “tabless” design of the battery cells. This is a significant improvement over Model 3, which takes up to 30 minutes to charge from 10% to 80%.
Compare that to the current crop of LFP battery-powered cars, which can take up to 45 minutes to charge from 10% to 80%, and you’ll see just how big of an advantage the 4680 has.
If you ask me, the 4680 is the best battery today. It offers the range of a lithium-ion battery, a capacity that rivals solid-state batteries, plus super quick charging.
What more could you ask for?
I guess my buddy (let’s call him “Ryan”) would say solid-state batteries. They charge in less time and are even more energy-dense than the 4680. Thing is, the excessive production costs will limit these batteries to government and commercial applications for the foreseeable future.
So “Ryan” can dream of his solid-state battery-powered car while the rest of us enjoy the benefits of the 4680.
Types of Chargers That Can Be Attached to a Tesla 4680 Battery
Nothing changes in the charger department. You can still use the same AC wall charger for the current crop of Teslas. The only difference is you’ll be able to charge your car faster.
The standard home charger will go from 0 to 100% in 10 hours. But if you have access to a Level 2 charger, you can get the job done in half the time.
You can also charge the Tesla 4680 battery with a DC fast charger. These chargers are becoming increasingly common, and they can charge your car in about an hour.
You can also use those portable batteries to charge your vehicle. These are great for road trips, and they can give you 100 miles (161 km) worth of charge in about four hours.
As you can see, there are plenty of options for charging your Tesla 4680 battery. Just pick the one that best suits your needs, and you’ll be good to go.
The 4680 Comes With Improved Chemistry
The Tesla 4680 battery improves chemistry, making it more stable and safer than previous generations. This is thanks to the use of “tabless” cells. This new cell design eliminates the need for a separator between the positive and negative electrodes.
While their materials remain essentially the same, Tesla has found a new way to produce silicon at a lower price. The EV maker starts with raw silicon and uses a new process to turn it into a “nanocrystalline” form. This new form of silicon is stronger and more efficient than the product used in the current crop of lithium-ion batteries.
This improved chemistry has several benefits, including increased range, improved safety, and lower cost. These factors make the Tesla 4680 battery the best on the market today.
However, Tesla has not solved the issue of silicon’s tendency to expand. Therefore, the 4680 battery will still suffer from reduced capacity over time. But, thanks to the improved chemistry, this will be less of an issue than in previous generations.
Improved Thermals With the 4680 Battery
The 4680 battery from Tesla is an improvement over older models in several key ways, but thermal management sits on top of that list. The new design incorporates a larger anode to improve cooling, and the result is a significant increase in range and power.
On a somewhat related note, I wrote an article where I answered all the basics about Tesla Battery Cooling and Heating. Check it out!
One of the main benefits of the 4680 battery is that it doesn’t require cooling tubes or pumps, which means it can be used under different conditions. The battery is also significantly lighter than older models, making it easier to transport and install.
That means Tesla can use it as part of the structural frame of the car, rather than just being another component. This reduces the number of parts needed, making the car lighter and more efficient.
The 4680 battery is a big step forward for Tesla, and it’s clear the company is committed to making electric vehicles better in every way. With improved range, power, and thermal management, the 4680 is the better battery on the market today.
Additional Weight to Teslas From 4680 Battery
At 150 g (0.04 oz) per piece, the 4680 is 11% heavier than 2170. This makes sense as it’s physically larger as well. But the good news is it also has a 30% higher energy density. This means it can hold more power in the same space as the 2170 pack.
The reason for the increase in size is the new anode material. The 4680 uses a silicon-based anode, while the 2170 uses a graphite anode. The silicon anode is much bigger than the graphite, which explains the increase in size.
There are also many more rolls that need to be filled with the new anode material. Each 4680 cell is about 10% bigger than a 2170 cell. But thanks to the increased energy density, the 4680 pack is only about 5% larger than the 2170 pack. So, the increase in size and weight is worth it for the significant increase in range.
The good news is that the 4680 is still significantly lighter than older generations of batteries. This makes it easier to transport and install, which can reduce car production costs significantly.
Potential Issues With 4680 Battery
Tesla has solved some of the issues with 2170, including the fire risk and thermal runaway. But the 4680 is a newer battery, so it’s hard to say if it’ll have issues. For one, the 4680 battery has a higher energy density than 2170. This means it can store more energy in a smaller space, translating to a longer range for your car and solving the range anxiety issue with most Tesla owners.
The 4680 is also more resistant to impact damage. This is thanks to the new anode material Tesla is using. But if an object manages to get into the pack, it’s likely to cause a fire.
With its lighter weight, the 4680 battery is also easier to transport and install. This makes it a safer and more reliable choice than previous iterations that can weigh your Tesla down.
The bottom line is that the 4680 battery significantly improves over 2170. But it’s hard to say if it’ll have any new issues. Only time will tell.
Why Tesla Is Adding 4680s to the EV Structure
Tesla’s move to add 4680s to their EV structure is genius. It means they’re planning on reducing complexity and production costs. The aim is to reduce the entire chassis to three parts, eliminating 300 pieces from the final product.
Adding the batteries to the EV structure will undoubtedly increase the car’s stability. It’ll also help protect the batteries from impact damage in a collision.
This design also simplifies the manufacturing process, as the batteries can be installed during the car’s construction. This will save time and money in the long run, allowing Tesla to build cars faster.
The bottom line is that Tesla’s move to add 4680s to their EV structure is good for consumers. It shows that they’re constantly innovating and trying to improve their products. That’s always a good thing.
The Future of Power Storage
I daresay battery technology is still in its early days. We have seen some fantastic advances in the past few years, but there’s still room for improvement. The Tesla 4680 battery is a big step in the right direction, as it offers a longer range and faster charging times. It’s also more resistant to impact damage.
But it’s not the only battery on the market. Many other companies are working on new battery technologies. I think it’s safe to say that the future of power storage is looking very bright.
The form factor of the 4680 adds up to 16% to the range of the battery. Add that to the 20% higher energy density, and you have a 36% range increase. That’s a significant boost, and maybe it compensates for the bigger weight.
Blade batteries are another innovation to keep an eye on. They offer a similar energy density to the 4680, and they’re much smaller and lighter. This makes them a strong contender for the top spot in the EV battery roundup.
The 4680 battery is an excellent choice for those who want the best performance and safety for their Tesla. But it’s not the only option on the market. Other companies are working on new battery technologies that may offer even better performance in the future. So keep your eyes peeled for the latest and greatest in power storage.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Type of Battery Is in the 4680?
The 4680 uses lithium-ion batteries. These are the same batteries used in laptops, cell phones, and electric cars.
What Materials Are Used in the 4680 Battery?
Panasonic uses Nickel-Cobalt-Aluminum (NCA) for the cathode and a high-nickel content anode. The separator is made of polyolefin.
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