Elon Musk clarifies Tesla’s 2170 battery strategy

After Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled a new 4680 tabless battery at the company’s Battery Day even last week, there was some speculation about using the new cell. “What would Tesla do with the existing 2170 cells that are currently used in the Model 3 and Model Y?” was one of the main concerns many enthusiasts had on their minds. Now, we know that the 2170 cells in Model 3 and Model Y will continue to be used by Tesla to keep battery limitations to a minimum, as the new 4680 cell is still at low availability.

Musk confirmed the fact that Tesla will continue to use its last battery cell for the time being on Twitter when a follower of his asked what the plan was with the 2170 cell. Musk indicated that the 2170 cells would be used for years to come while Tesla continues to work on the ramp-up of the new 4680 cells.

For Tesla’s previous two vehicles, the 2170 cell was crucial as it enhanced current and power while reducing cost. The cells resulted in a decrease in the total cost of the car, which helped Tesla become a mass-market manufacturer.

However, according to Musk, the firm still does not have an affordable-enough car. Not every car buyer is looking to spend more than $35,000 on a car, even though maintenance makes it less costly and environmentally friendly.

Behold, the 4680 battery. A new cell with five-times the energy, decreased charging times, six-times the power, and more available range for Tesla’s cars. Musk stated during the event that a pilot production line was already manufacturing the cells at a facility in Fremont, known as Kato Road.

Interestingly, Musk recently revealed on an episode of the Sway podcast from the New York Times that Tesla has been using the new battery cells for several months. Some cars that have been delivered this year are utilizing the 4680 cells.

“The results will speak for themselves. The cells we’re talking about we have produced many of them. We have had cars driving with those cells since May,” Musk said to Kara Swisher during the podcast.

As of now, since the market for vehicles is much greater than what the company has in terms of 4680 cells, Tesla cannot abandon the 2170 cells entirely. If Tesla were for the near future to equip only 4680 cells in its vehicles, deliveries will drop dramatically because it still does not have enough cells.

Tesla is likely to switch to 4680 cells inside its vehicles as the most used battery over the next few years. The production of the newly built battery would help Tesla lower the cost of its vehicles, ultimately displacing gas engines on the road and leading to a more sustainable future.

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