Breaking: Refreshed Tesla Model Y With 4680 Cells & Structural Pack Gets A 0 To 60mph Upgrade
Tesla first started delivery of the refreshed Model Y with 4680 cells and a structural pack at the company’s Giga Texas opening party. At the event, which Tesla called Cyber Rodeo, the first few refreshed Model Ys were delivered to Tesla employees.
At the time, Tesla did not share any specs of the new vehicle however, soon after we learned the refreshed Model Y comes with a 279-mile EPA range, 5 seconds 0 to 60 time, and it costs $60,000.
For comparison, the Long Range Model Y with 2170 cells and a non-structural battery pack has 318 miles of EPA range, 4.8 seconds 0 to 60 time, and has a starting price of $68,000 after the recent price increase.
As you can see, even though it’s pricier, the Model Y Long Range has better range and acceleration numbers than the new Model Y variant with the 4680 cells and structural pack.
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According to Tesla’s Battery Day presentation, the new cells together with a structural pack are supposed to increase range by 54%, decrease the overall weight of the vehicle and improve acceleration and handling.
And the fact that the first Tesla with all the new technologies came with worse range and performance numbers was surprising and disappointing for most Tesla watchers.
Some even went so far as to suggest Tesla’s Battery Day presentation was entirely false. However, soon after delivering the first Giga Texas built Model Ys Tesla sent out a letter to employees explaining why the refreshed Model Y with 4680 cells and structural pack has a lower range and performance.
According to Tesla, the main reason for the worse performance and range boils down to Tesla choosing to put a smaller battery pack in the new version of the all-electric crossover.
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Tesla’s letter has given us a better understanding of the specs of the new Model Y. However, one thing that is not still clear is that, if the refreshed Model Y has a smaller battery pack than the 2170 Model Y, why then do both vehicles have essentially the similar efficiency numbers.
According to the EPA, the Model Y AWD (Tesla’s name for the refreshed Model Y) has a “fuel economy” of 123 Miles per Gallon equivalent (MPGe). On its own, this might not mean anything, however, the Model Y Long Range has a fuel economy of 122MPGe, meaning the two vehicles have practically similar fuel efficiency.
However, if the refreshed Model Y indeed has all the advantages of the 4680 cells and structural battery pack touted by Tesla, and when you add that it has a smaller battery pack, then the vehicle should weigh significantly less than the Model Y Long Range and ergo have a notably improved efficiency.
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This fact has divided the Tesla community with some speculating that the Model Y AWD actually has a much larger battery pack but is software limited to give it 279 miles of range. This theory got more credence after a refreshed Model Y owner revealed Tesla calls the vehicle “Model Y 50D” in the mobile app.
Based on Tesla’s previous naming convention “50D” would mean the refreshed Model Y has a 50KWh battery pack and “D” stands for dual motor.
If Tesla is indeed shipping the refreshed Model Y with a larger battery pack but has chosen to software limit it at 50KWh then that will explain practically everything about the vehicle including the lower range, performance numbers, and fuel economy.
However, based on the amount of electricity the vehicle takes during charing there is also conflicting evidence that suggests the vehicle actually has around a 70KWh battery pack.
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As of now, it’s difficult to say which one of the 2 possibilities is correct, however, today we got new information that is more supportive of the first theory that suggests the true capability of the new Model Y is indeed software capped.
According to the host of the Spoken Reviews YouTube channel, who is currently one of a handful of individuals to own the 4680 Model Y, Tesla is already offering an acceleration boost for the refreshed Model Y.
The acceleration improvement comes as an over-the-air software update and is offered inside Tesla’s mobile app for $2,000. According to Tesla, the update will decrease the 0 to 60 time of the refreshed Model Y from 5 seconds to 4.2 seconds.
Tesla has been selling the Giga Texas built Model Y for less than three months, and if the vehicle is already getting performance improvements through a software update then it stands to reason there is a high probability there will be more capabilities that will be unlocked in the future.
As of now, this is only a conjecture however, we will be sure to keep you posted once we get more information on the refreshed Model Y. Until then, make sure to visit our site torqenews.com/Tesla regularly for the latest updates.
So what do you think? Excited that the 4680 Model Y is already getting a performance upgrade? Do you think the vehicle has more capabilities that are currently software locked? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Image: Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.
For more information check out: Tesla's Giga Berlin Achieves 1,000 Vehicles Per Week Milestone
Tinsae Aregay has been following Tesla and The evolution of the EV space on a daily basis for several years. He covers everything about Tesla from the cars to Elon Musk, the energy business, and autonomy. Follow Tinsae on Twitter at @TinsaeAregay for daily Tesla news.