Tesla has been working on developing the 4680 battery cells for some time, with the company announcing its plans at Battery Day in 2020.
Since then, there have been several updates on the progress of the cells, with Tesla claiming that they will be a game-changer for the electric vehicle industry. However, there has been no official announcement regarding when the Model Y will be equipped with these cells again.
For some short period, the Model Y RWD received 4680 cells but only for limited production, right now the new battery pack is used in the Tesla Cybertruck. With the slow ramp-up of the new pickup truck and the current 4680 production capability, this will work much better than with the Model Y RWD as the Model Y as way more volume.
Timeline for Tesla Model Y 4680 Battery Integration
Tesla's 4680 battery cells are a game-changer in the electric vehicle industry. These cells are designed to offer higher energy density, longer range, and faster charging times. The company unveiled the 4680 cells at Battery Day in 2020, and since then, it has been working to ramp up production.
Currently, Tesla is producing the 4680 cells at its pilot plant in Fremont, California, and in Austin Texas. The company has faced some challenges in scaling up production, but it has made significant progress in recent months. In April 2023, Tesla released a detailed update on its 4680 battery cell program, which outlined the progress it had made in improving the cell's design and manufacturing processes.
Projected Milestones for Model Y 4680 Adoption
Tesla has not yet announced a specific timeline for integrating the 4680 cells into the Model Y again. However, the company has stated that it plans to use the cells in its structural battery pack, which is a key component of the Cybertruck.
We do expect, that the Long Range Version and Performance Variant of the Model Y won't see 4680 cells very soon. The production needs to ramp further and Elon Musk has stated, that they don't compete with their suppliers like Panasonic or CATL. For now, the production of the 4680 cells will fully concentrate on the Cybertruck.
Impact and Benefits of 4680 Cells for Tesla
One of the most significant benefits of the 4680 cells is the performance improvement. The 4680 cells have a larger diameter and are more energy-dense than the 2170 cells, which means they can deliver more power and energy to the vehicle.
This means that the Cybertruck equipped with 4680 cells will have better acceleration, higher top speed, and improved handling, which at some point the Model Y AWD and RWD could receive as well.
Cost Reduction Potential
Another benefit of the 4680 cells is the potential for cost reduction. The new production process for the 4680 cells is expected to be more efficient and cost-effective than the current process used for the 2170 cells. This could lead to a reduction in the cost of the battery cells, which will make the Model Y and Cybertruck more affordable for consumers.
Range and Efficiency Gains
The 4680 cells are also expected to provide significant gains in range and efficiency. The dry battery electrode technology used in the 4680 cells allows for more energy to be stored in the same amount of space.
This means that the Model Y equipped with 4680 cells could have a longer range than the current Model Y with 2170 cells. Currently, we don't see those range improvements for the Cybertruck yet. Tesla might do further Software Updates in 2024 to increase the range.
Tesla's Senior VP of Powertrain and Energy Engineering, Drew Baglino, stated during the Battery Day presentation that the 4680 cells and the new structural battery pack design could increase vehicle range by as much as 54%. This would be a significant improvement over the current range. Keep in mind that Tesla might just decrease the battery size and keep the range the same in future models and with that increase profits.
The Tesla Model Y Standard Range is the last new Model Y version that was available in the online configurator. Electric vehicles for a cheaper price are the way to go and this is exactly the version. The all-wheel drive Long Range Version and the Performance variant are on the other hand way more expensive. Therefore the Tesla has a good alternative to the Standard Range.
Nevertheless with a lower price comes more volume and with that, the challenge to provide enough batteries supports the fact, that Tesla moved on to the Cybertruck which has a lower production rate.
The Fremont factory in California and other factories like Shanghai and Berlin won't see the 4680 cells anytime soon even though the battery production building in Germany is already done. Once the production in the US finally reaches a good production rate, the production in Germany will start too.
The new manufacturing process for the 4680 cells will lead to cost reductions, making the Model Y and Cybertruck more affordable for consumers. We hope that this little Guide around the 4680 battery helped you and we hope to have you back here very soon.