The Truth About Tesla Model 3 Batteries: Part 1

Опубликовано: 3 авг 2018
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**NOTE** We incorrectly converted lbs to kgs in the costs. So Please go by the price per pound! Lithium = $7.50/lb, Nickel = $4.05 /lb, Manganese = $0.93 /lb, Cobalt = $36.50 / lb
Today we are going to talk about “The Truth about Tesla’s Batteries.” If you’re thinking about a Tesla, you’ve undoubtedly heard about how cheap they are to fill up, how little maintenance they require, and with recent Model 3 Production ramp ups, we’re on the verge of absolute Tesla ubiquity. But one of the questions that we believe keep potential buyers up at night, surrounds their battery packs. So we’ve compiled a list of all the questions we’ve received, and we’re going to break it down, step by step in this two part video series.
First we’ll look at the raw materials required to create lithium ion batteries. Second we’ll look at the battery cell manufacturing. In part 2, we’ll look at the complete battery pack manufacturing, the final Car manufacturing, and end of life recycling of lithium ion batteries.
Different car makers use different cathode chemistries for lithium ion batteries, Tesla uses NCA chemistry, or Nickel, Cobalt, and Aluminium (LiNiCoAlO2). They use this particular chemistry because it offers great energy density, long cycle life, and great charge performance. This makes Tesla’s batteries the absolute top of the line in the EV world. They weigh less, last longer, and power the performance of things like Ludicrous mode.
Tesla’s Batteries have gone through 3 stages: Stage 1 was from 2009-2012 found in the Roadster and Model S. Stage 2 was from 2016-2018 and powered the Model S Gen II, and the Model X. Stage 3 starts with the Model 3 in 2018.
Stage 1 batteries were constructed with 18650 cells, which are 18 mm wide, and 65 mm tall. They had a NCA formulation that required 11kgs of Cobalt in the cathode, per car. They had a pure graphite anode, with no Silicon.
Stage 2 batteries used the same 18650 cells, but reduced the amount of Cobalt required in the cathode from 11 to just 7kg/car. They also introduced a small amount of silicon into their anode.
Stage 3 batteries are new for Tesla, and first shipped with the Model 3. Stage 3 batteries have further reduced the amount of cobalt to just around 4.5kg per vehicle. They also have a hybrid silicon/graphite anode, and while proprietary and unreported, probably higher silicon content than their stage 2 batteries.
Unlike other companies that are planning to sell tens of thousands of EVs each year, Tesla is planning to sell half a million and then a million EVs each year. It's absolutely crucial to understand supply chain fragility when considering that lithium ion battery production is set to soar.
Tesla opened Gigafactory 1 in Sparks Nevada, and though it will only be fully completed by 2020, its pumping out batteries, and will only increase its production rate as it nears completion. Tesla has switched from 18650 cells to 21700 cells because it’s an optimized size to maximize energy, with minimal increases in weight, and excellent cost. Voltage is largely unchanged, since its a function of battery chemistry. So the big question here is, why does Tesla use these little battery cells, when they know they’ll need thousands of them? Why not not make custom big batteries, like the ones found on a BMW i3? The i3 uses prismatic batteries, with big custom packs. The Chevy bolt and Leaf use rectangular pouch batteries, which you might think makes more sense since there’s less wasted space.
The i3’s prismatic battery and the Bolts pouch battery have to be specifically made for those cars. They are built to specification, much like your smartphone. Figure out how much space you have left for a battery, then get one custom made. In contrast, the Tesla model 3 uses a new 2170 cell which will be the battery that powers all future tesla models and even their home energy storage solutions.
This flexibility is why Tesla can offer a wide variety of range options. By adding more cell blocks in parallel they can increase range without changing the core voltage of the system. Tesla has a goal of producing batteries at less than $100/kWh.
The Gigafactory is Tesla’s greatest asset, because by investing so heavily into a vertical integration structure, they can control costs and production levels. In contrast General Motors, completely outsources the battery development to LG Chem, who provide complete units ready to drop into their EVs. But if suddenly Honda and Toyota come with contracts to LG Chem, how would that impact GM? Vertical integration for battery manufacture is super costly, but does give Tesla a marked advantage over their competition. In fact, it might be their single biggest advantage.
One question we often get is who’s actually making the battery, Panasonic or Tesla? The answer really is Panasonic.


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    • Very nice and helpful Chanel.... thanks for the All brother

    • ​ @thishadowithin < Don't worry, there are plenty of other battery manufacturers... also Apple has built their own battery giga-factory in the Nevada desert. And that brings up an interesting point, is Tesla really a car company or more like battery/energy company?? ... we shall see. Here's a snippet from an interesting Forbes article, something to think about: "Tesla became the most valuable U.S. automaker by market cap. Many think that this is just another sign of irrational exuberance in the stock market. Mike Jackson, the CEO of AutoNation, concluded that Tesla is "either one of the great Ponzi schemes of all time" or will eventually succeed for investors." The truth is that current battery technology is not the most efficient and sustainable way to store large amounts of energy. There are too many drawback factors such as size, relatively slow charging, efficiency, reliability, thermal loss, scarceness of lithium. I believe that "super capacitors" will be a stepping stone to the holy grail of energy storage at a high density... we shall see.

    • What about Panasonic cutting ties with Tesla? Do you think this is going to happen in the near future?

    • @Frank Albe < Not sure if you missed it, but I have already mentioned that previously. Look, every technology has its pros and cons, the trick is to choose one which is fairly safe and practical. "Gas tanks are supposed to be well protected too, yet there are instances depending on the collision energy and angle how badly they get damaged."

    • @Bill A You are. Gas powered vehicles catch fire every day but no one reports it.

  • Tesla - Using world resources, to supply expensive sports cars to virtue signalling rich people! Not to mention using taxpayer subsidies, that could be better utilized providing lower cost energy efficient vehicles to the mass market.

  • Excellent research and presentation. Keep up the good work!

  • Just wait till zinc air batteries are released! THEN electric cars will really take off!

  • Kg=2.204 pounds

  • serious inventors who have worked on both electric cars and alcohol, say that electric cars still have no future, it's cheaper to burn gasoline than replace the batteries, and TESLA will fail. To really make electric cars mainstream we need revolutionary batteries, and TESLA has no such technology. The same serious inventors have perfected alcohol and run both diesel and gasoline cars, and yet to this day, still no battery beakthrough.

  • You have kg. And lb. reversed in your pricing.

  • Cameron, great to see you with this new channel. I wish you every success!

  • because oil is so much easy to get ? damn ...

  • Started falling asleep in this video.

  • You got prices per kg wrong. There is 2.2 lbs in 1 kg. So the prices per kg, should be 2.2 more than prices per lbs. You got it reverse. LOL

  • On the question of why thousands of cells rather than fewer, larger packs, I believe there are several factors you didn't mention. 1) spreading the charge/discharge current over more cells allows Tesla to charge and discharge faster without overheating. 2) it is harder to cool larger cells than small ones (the internal heat source is further from the external cooling system) 3) degraded/dead cells represent much more of a range loss with fewer, larger cells Also, I don't believe panasonic would agree that the relationship is symbiotic or beneficial. they're apparently pretty pissed at how little they make out of the deal

  • Panasonic have got tesla over a barrel no other producer has the quality and output they have been top of their game for years. I know for a fact that the batts can be recharged 1000X give or take for a 18650

  • You sure the Panasonic "partnership" is strong? Apparently someone buying from them has been real slow paying for what got delivered, and word I saw was that they pulled out of China before the plant was completed...If they stop production, Tesla is dead.

  • So what happens when I've been driving my Tesla for 10 or so years and the battery goes bad. New battery or new car?

  • Wait! What about cars produced from 2013 through 2015? What kind of batteries do they have?

  • Graphite price shown look cheap, but those batteries uses Spherical Graphite, which is more like $1.5 per pound.... The processing is all done in China, with lots and lots of acids... Pretty synthetic already.

  • *COST OF INSURANCE is prohibitive.*

  • please label your graphs better

  • At 1:12 the question is posed of whether mining operations for battery materials are worse for the environment than burning gas in your car. Sadly, the video answers all kinds of other questions but not this one. That's a tad disappointing, and a bit of a shot in your own foot. Why pose the question if you are going to ignore it?

  • Ha Ha, average American's math problem

  • Cannot trust this video, a lb is almost half a kg, why price/lb is duble??? So the other numbers should be wronge or fak.🤣🤣😲😲😲😲😲

  • So for material prices the ev wehicles at least their batteries will get even mroe expensive on demand so you will pay more for them ice vehicles get cheaper with time that's a big no no for com mon peoples and for common usage...

  • Fuck you all. Tesla is the best company in the world! Fuck your mafia. Who cares about being fast on a track. Only brutes like racing. If I ever get called a soyboy 1 more time Im gonna explode.

  • Solid state release slated by 2024 with a car using it. Might get delayed but all of this is now useless info. Gew years iys all irrelevant.

  • An american that pronounces aluminium the way the rest of the english speaking world does? Nice.

  • wtf, 2 lb = 0.91 kg not the other way around

  • Crap math, crap data.

  • Tesla, the great America con.

    • Explains their above average customer satisfaction.

  • You appear to have done your price per calculations wrong. Assuming your price per pound is correct, the price per kilo would be around 2.2 time price per pound. So if it costs 5 dollars a pound it would cost 11 dollars per kilo. Because a kilo contains 2.2 pounds. Maybe I'm wrong. But check your lides.

  • I want to buy a tesla 😢

  • Your maths is completely wrong. Pounds are less than kilos.

  • 4:39 man says earts crust, not earth. He keeps saying Eart and not Earth lol

  • I hope one day the battery packs are split up into modules that can independently be analyzed for cell health, then when some (Not all) of the cells start to fail the section can be swapped out and then the newer cells balance down to the older cells in terms of capacity saving the need for whole pack replacement. Imagine a battery pack from an Ebike x 20 in a larger pack, then people would consider more easily the cost effectiveness of using cell power and not be ripped off when a garage removes the whole pack for 5k and can then reuse 80% of what they told you was knackered. By the way Tesla I'm sure use super capacitors for Ludicrous mode so the cells don't get hurt with the discharge load...

  • Those batteries are made down the road from me here in Northern Nevada. Tesla (and Panasonic) has saved our economy here so much so that when I sell my house I bought after the housing bubble bust I can buy 10 of these Tesla’s 😃 Thank you Daddy Elon!

  • Very concise video!! Good job!!

  • The best American car company.

  • Passed chemistry - flunked math $/lb, L/kg, $/kg, furlongs/forte night, divide? multiply? - oh shit! How embare assing.

  • using small cells IS a wrong way for e-cars.

  • your maths is crap kilo = 2.2 pounds so how come you have price per kilo less than price per pound

  • Another American who can't do metric system. LOL!

    • Metric? I thought they measured things by bullets per schoolshooting.

    • If it's so important to you then convert it yourself

    • It's not that we can't, it's that we don't need too. Metric is fucking easy, units of 10 is basic and anyone can fo it. We use imperial because that's the way we have done it for hundreds of years and the world revolves around the U.S. and we don't need to change to accommodate others who bitch that things aren't in metric. Do you ever see American's bitch about people using metric? No, because it isn't a big deal and we can easily figure out the context.

  • Isnt it slow?

  • Soon, this planet will run out of natural resources, due to hunger of power..

  • *wonders what impact the Maxwell purchase will have* Imagine 10% super cap/90% batt energy storage.* Heck imagine a whole frunk mod of super caps.


    • I appreciate that the video was a convenient 12 minute length. I'm sure they will tackle other issues later in the series.

  • I'm predicting replaceable fully charged battery packs at your local small business owner, every year there comes new adoptions and features resulting in the electronics becoming obsolete at the expense of the consumers, with the batteries not capable of safely exchanged for recharged battery packs or even better if the vehicle is in an accident causing damage to the batteries possibly the batteries could be removed quick, these new EV's would automatically become obsolete collectors items not having replaceable battery packs if this was available in the public the EV's revolution will replace fuel powered engines completely, maybe there needs to be some fabrications before allowing families to trust their lives riding on batteries on the certifiable insane highway create a newer better highway.

    • there could be a possibility of blind people navigating with the EV revolution it's definitely the next evolution part of the 5g network with human progress in this age, all the potential energy that has been in motion surviving off the fossil fuels and never tapped into every mile of travel capable of storing energy gas powered or electric capacity when the capacity wasn't tapped into all the previous miles could've created enough energy to supply the home as an assist to the grid or maybe better off grid or supplying the grid.

  • Tesla: a) Takes money from the government. b) Takes money from investors. c) Doesn't pay its suppliers d) Its cars are still expensive. e) Loses hundreds of millions every single quarter.


  • Thanks for the vid. I think Tesla will part ways with Panasonic soon and the 21700 cell will go away in favor of a new, larger cell with Maxwell dry cell technology and incorporated ultra caps, for regenerative breaking and extreme rapid charge for short trips: 20-30 mi, but will pair with the main battery pack. Anyway, good time to be an EV fan!

  • These batteries can be recycled. Petrol and Diesel cars were around a century but on long run petrol and diesel products produce more pollution and the polluted gases cannot be recycled like li-ion batteries. Production Of hydrogen from water produce huge amount of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. So battery mining is safe, If battery mining is bad for environmen then cement production and other mayerials used in house and building are much worse. All the minerals are expiring, we humans are planet eaters, we are evil so don't believe in hell and heaven and show middle fingers to priests and religious frauds. Planetary migration is the only future of humanity, do it or die. Ones the earth is going to end like venus due to environmental factors and expansion of sun. So don't bother, develop technology rather than business.