Elon Musk announces ‘tabless’ battery for Tesla’s electric cars that is six times more powerful


Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced a ‘tabless’ battery at the firm’s live-streamed ‘Battery Day’ that had attendees sitting in their own Tesla watching the billionaire speak on a stage. 

Musk shared the firm is currently producing the cell, dubbed 4680, at its pilot Fremont gigafactory -making it Tesla’s first in-house battery.

Eliminating the tabs allows for continual motion through the system, which provides six times the power and enables a 16 percent range increase to vehicles. 

Musk also revealed the firm plans to make 20 million electric vehicles a year, along with an affordable model for $25,000 that is also fully autonomous. 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced a ‘tabless’ battery at the firm’s live-streamed ‘Battery Day’ that showed attendees sitting in their own Tesla watching the billionaire speak on a stage

Musk called it the ‘Tesla drive-in movie theater,’ when he took the stage overlooking a parking lot of Tesla vehicles with attendees sitting inside to adhere to social distancing recommendations.

He joked, ‘It’s a little hard to read the room with everyone being in cars,’ even as he was received by a chorus of honking horns.   

Musk also revealed his plans for Tesla to produce its own battery cells, which the firm has begun at its pilot Gigawatt facility in Fremont, California.

The factory pulled inspiration from facilities that work with filling bottles and making paper to design a way to keep continual motion through the assembly line.

The battery will power upcoming Tesla electric vehicles, including the heavy-duty Semi truck, the roadster and the futuristic Cybertruck – all of which were on display at the event. 

Musk called it the 'Tesla drive-in movie theater,' when he took the stage overlooking a parking lot of Teslas with attendees sitting inside to adhere to social distancing recommendations

Musk called it the ‘Tesla drive-in movie theater,’ when he took the stage overlooking a parking lot of Teslas with attendees sitting inside to adhere to social distancing recommendations

The tabless battery, called 4860, is said to make the firm's electronic vehicles five times more energy dense, six times more powerful and increase the range by 16 percent

The tabless battery, called 4860, is said to make the firm’s electronic vehicles five times more energy dense, six times more powerful and increase the range by 16 percent

The battery will power upcoming Tesla electric vehicles, including the heavy-duty Semi truck, the roadster and the futuristic Cybertruck - all of which were on display at the event

The battery will power upcoming Tesla electric vehicles, including the heavy-duty Semi truck, the roadster and the futuristic Cybertruck – all of which were on display at the event

The battery is enclosed in a white tin, cylinder with blue trimming that have eliminated that traditional battery tabs inside.

The new cell manufacturing system is ‘close to working’ at the pilot plant level, Musk said. 

The tabless battery, called 4860, is said to make the firm’s electronic vehicles five times more energy dense, six times more powerful and increase the range by 16 percent.  

Tesla will produce the new battery cells initially on a new assembly line near its vehicle plant in Fremont, California, with planned output reaching 10 gigawatt-hours a year by the end of 2021. 

Tesla and partner Panasonic Corp now have production capacity of around 35 gWh at the Nevada battery ‘gigafactory.’ 

Tesla is currently producing the cell, dubbed 4680, at its pilot Fremont Gigawatt factory -making it the firm's first in-house battery

Tesla is currently producing the cell, dubbed 4680, at its pilot Fremont Gigawatt factory -making it the firm’s first in-house battery

Tesla will produce the new battery cells initially on a new assembly line near its vehicle plant in Fremont, California, with planned output reaching 10 gigawatt-hours a year by the end of 2021

Tesla will produce the new battery cells initially on a new assembly line near its vehicle plant in Fremont, California, with planned output reaching 10 gigawatt-hours a year by the end of 2021

Musk also note the firm aims to rapidly ramp up battery production over the next years, to 3 terawatt-hours a year, or 3,000 gigawatt-hours, roughly 85 times greater than the capacity of the Nevada plant.  

Musk’s ‘Cybertruck’, which looks like an armored vehicle with a futuristic angular body in gunmetal grey, will go into production in 2021.

The pickup, which Musk said will cost $39,900 (£31,000) and up, will have an estimated battery range of up to 500 miles.  

Tesla boasts that the car’s nearly impenetrable monochrome exoskeleton provides passengers maximum protection, together with ultra-strong glass that absorbs and redirects impact force. 

The $200,000 Roadster sports car – an updated version of Tesla’s first production vehicle from 2008 – can travel 620 miles on a single charge, a new record for an electric vehicle.

Its maximum speed is over 250 mph, which would make it the fastest car in general production.    

The Semi, meanwhile, which was unveiled in 2017, is a long silver cargo truck that can reach 60 miles per hour with an 80,000-pound load. 

It has Tesla’s semi-autonomous driving system, designed to keep a vehicle in its lane without drifting, and can transition from one freeway to another with no human intervention.  

Prior to the event, many had speculated the Musk was set to unveil the firm’s highly-anticipated ‘million-mile battery’ that was said to clock up over a million miles over the course of their lifespan – rather than powering a car for a single million-mile-journey without recharging.

The battery will power upcoming Tesla electric vehicles, including the heavy-duty Semi truck, the roadster (pictured) and the futuristic Cybertruck - all of which were on display at the event.

The battery will power upcoming Tesla electric vehicles, including the heavy-duty Semi truck, the roadster (pictured) and the futuristic Cybertruck – all of which were on display at the event. 

The tabless battery will power upcoming Tesla electric vehicles, including the heavy-duty Semi truck (pictured)

The tabless battery will power upcoming Tesla electric vehicles, including the heavy-duty Semi truck (pictured)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is taking on the heavy pickup truck market with the Cybertruck electric vehicle

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is taking on the heavy pickup truck market with the Cybertruck electric vehicle

Musk said in a tweet that the battery improvements to be unveiled will not be in high-volume production until 2022.

‘Important note about Tesla Battery Day unveil tomorrow,’ said Musk in a tweet early on Tuesday.

‘This affects long-term production, especially Semi, Cybertruck & Roadster, but what we announce will not reach serious high-volume production until 2022.’

In a tweet earlier this month, Musk said ‘many exciting things will be unveiled on Battery Day’.

WHAT IS TESLA’S ‘GIGAFACTORY’?

Tesla’s ‘Gigafactory’ is located on Electric Avenue in Sparks, Nevada.

The factory’s name stems from ‘giga,’ a unit of measurement that represents billions.

One gigawatt hour is the equivalent of generating one billion watts for one hour — one million times that of one kilowatt hour.

Tesla says the factory will be producing 35 gigawatt hours of batteries by 2018.

The current structure has a footprint of 1.9 million square feet, which houses 4.9 million square feet of operational space across several floors

The current structure has a footprint of 1.9 million square feet, which houses 4.9 million square feet of operational space across several floors

It's currently about 30 percent finished - and once complete, it will be the biggest building in the world 

It’s currently about 30 percent finished – and once complete, it will be the biggest building in the world 

That’s the equivalent to the entire world’s production in 2014.

New York City uses around 52 gigawatt hours of energy per year. 

Once completed in 2020, the factory is set to become one of the biggest buildings in the world, with a final size of 10 million square feet.

Already, the current structure has a footprint of 1.9 million square feet, which houses 4.9 million square feet of operational space across several floors. 

‘Once complete, we expect the Gigafactory to be the biggest building in the world,’ Tesla said.

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