Tesla says that a new battery cell will the cheapest and most energy dense in the world.
The 2170 battery cell, which Tesla will make in tandem with Panasonic at the company’s gigafactory in Nevada, is expected to go into production by the end of the year.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk told analysts during a conference call that “the best cell in the world that is also the cheapest cell” and later clarified that he meant that the cell has “best energy density in the world.”
Typically, manufacturers need to choose – either more density for more cost or less density for less money. The 2170 is expected to be bigger than the 18650 currently in use in the Model S and Model X.
Those current 18650 cells are thought to have an energy density of about 250 watt-hour per kilogram, with an estimated cost of less than $190 per kilowatt hour. Musk did not say anything about the cost of the 2170 cells, nor did he provide specs on the energy density.
He also didn’t mention which vehicle or vehicles would get the new cells, but the upcoming Model 3 is certainly a prime candidate. It also wouldn’t be shocking if the Model S and Model X get the same treatment.