Use of cylindrical Lithium-ion batteries by Tesla

Tesla uses cylindrical lithium-ion batteries in its cars, charging stations, and power storage units. Up until January 2017, the company used modified 18650 cylindrical lithium-ion batteries, which it co-manufactured with Panasonic. Those batteries typically have nickel at the cathode and graphite coated onto silicon oxide at the anode (5). On January 4, 2017 Tesla began production of its new 2170 cylindrical batteries for use in its Gigafactory. The specifications of the new battery have been kept under tight wraps by Tesla and founder Elon Musk, who has only said that the new batteries will be cheaper and have a greater energy density than the 18650 ones (1). The dimensions of the 2170 battery, 21mm by 70mm, give it its name (2).

Similarly to the previously-discussed Chevrolet electric vehicles, Tesla’s vehicles ship with a charging cord that allows them to be charged from a typical wall outlet in your home (3).

The specifications of Tesla’s powertrains are kept under wraps, but they are liquid-cooled similarly to Chevrolet’s electric vehicles (4).

This concludes my overview of lithium-ion batteries and their use in vehicles. I will update the blog with news related to the topic or an investigation of some of the drawbacks of lithium-ion batteries if something catches my eye. My plan is now to take the blog in another direction and look at the possible use of metal-air batteries instead of metal-ion batteries.


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