On September 22 “Tesla Battery Day” will take place. A highly anticipated event in which the American company will show the world numerous firsts. Most of them focused on the field of batteries. The company is expected to present both its new battery production system and its new internally developed cells.
However, one of these novelties has leaked ahead of time: the specialized medium Electrek has obtained the first data and images of the new Tesla cells, developed under the so-called “Roadrunner project,” through which the company has tried to create a production system that allows mass manufacturing at a reduced cost.
One of the things that most attract the new Tesla cells’ attention is their size, more significant than the 18650 and 2170 currently used in the company’s vehicles. Although most of the specifications are still unknown, Electrek has obtained some interesting information from these cells.
For starters, its diameter is twice as large as that of the Panasonic 2170, equivalent to four times its volume. Being high-capacity cells, Tesla will achieve an exciting cost reduction by using fewer shells and connections per pack, a simple but quite ingenious solution. Furthermore, fewer cells will allow better use of space, thus increasing the total capacity of the battery.
These cells employ Tesla’s patented “tabless electrode” design earlier in the year. This solution, which makes it possible to dispense with the tabs used on the cathode and anode to connect to the terminals of the housing, helps to reduce costs, simplifie cell production, improve performance, and reduce ohmic resistance since the current does not have to go from the electrodes to the reed.
At the moment, it is not known if the chemistry of these cells will correspond with the recent developments of Jeff Dahn’s team for Tesla. In any case, these new cells and their associated revolutionary production system are expected to achieve higher energy density, a cost of less than $100 per kWh, and a useful life of 1.6 million kilometers.
Tesla is currently building a pilot production line to manufacture these cells at Kato Road, Fremont. Additionally, the Tesla Grohmann division is developing new machines for mass production based on what has been learned from the pilot production line. This production system will debut at Giga Austin, the first model to receive these cells being the Cybertruck pick-up.