In addition, the firm has also revealed a very interesting fact: all Tesla Model Ys produced in Giga Texas will have structural batteries and 4680 cells, a confirmation of something we had already reported on in many articles before. In parallel Tesla also announced that the first Model Y units manufactured in Giga-Berlin will have 2170 cells, just like the Fremont and Giga Shanghai models.
#Tesla is making Model Y at Giga Texas with the structural battery and 4680 cells, confirms Elon Musk...(Listen to the Q4 2021 Earnings Call Recording, All new Model Y production imagery from Giga Texas and Giga Berlin, more)...#ModelY #ElonMusk https://t.co/B0YSCOYFwE— Tesla Oracle (@TeslaOracle_com) January 27, 2022
The 4680 cells, as their name suggests (46 millimeters in diameter, 80 millimeters high), are larger than the 2170. Tesla calculates that by implementing them the autonomy of its electric cars will improve by 16%; in addition, using these batteries will reduce costs by a 14%. Although Tesla plans to produce its own 4680 cells, it will also turn to third-party providers such as CATL, LG Energy Solution, Panasonic, and Samsung SDI.
On the other hand, let us not forget that the 4680 cells have a patented tabless electrodes design that will eliminate the tabs used to connect the electrodes to the terminal connections. This will simplify their production - thereby reducing costs - and improve the performance of the batteries.
The Giga-Texas Model Y would be able to improve its range by a 30%: these structural batteries, which will become integrated into the vehicle chassis (the central frame will be made up of a huge cast piece made of aluminum), will allow its range to be improved by a 14%, its weight to be reduced by 10% , and to simplify the design and manufacture of the car (as around 370 fewer parts will be used); it will also help increase the rigidity of the "monocoque" chassis.
Taking the Model Y Long Range AWD produced in Fremont as a reference - which announces a range of 512 km EPA - the Giga Texas version could reach 666 km (EPA), improving its range by a 30% (16% by using 4680 cells and 14% by using structural batteries). All in all the final gain would likely be a little bit less, though.
Deliveries of the Texan Model Y, which will be headed mainly to the East Coast of the United States, could begin very soon. “Building of the Model Y began in late 2021 at Giga Texas. After receiving final certification of the Austin-built Model Y, we plan to begin customer deliveries", as per the Tesla announcement.
All images courtesy of Tesla Inc.
Nico Caballero is the VP of Finance of Cogency Power, specializing in solar energy. He also holds a Diploma in Electric Cars from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and enjoys doing research about Tesla and EV batteries. He can be reached at @NicoTorqueNews on Twitter. Nico covers Tesla and electric vehicle latest happenings at Torque News.