Elon Musk has confirmed Tesla’s new structural battery design, and 4680 cells are first going to Model Y, which will be produced at Gigafactory Berlin next year.
We already had a good idea it was happening since Musk teased that Tesla will introduce a “core structural design change” with Model Y produced in Germany, but it’s not confirmed.
The CEO confirmed on Twitter that the new structural battery pack technology will be first implemented in Berlin:
Berlin will use 4680 cell with structural battery pack and front & rear single-piece castings. Also, a new paint system.
Tesla plans to first start Model Y production at Gigafactory Berlin during the second half of 2021.
Musk added that he believes it will take about two years:
Lot of new technology will happen in Berlin, which means significant production risk. Fremont & Shanghai will transition in ~2 years when new tech is proven.
The new technology indeed needs to be proven. It’s quite a radical change of how cars are produced.
It’s not only about producing the rear and front underbody in single pieces of casting, but it’s also about linking those two pieces with the battery pack itself instead of a regular chassis in which you install the battery pack.
Musk added on Twitter today:
Battery pack will be a bonded structure with cells providing shear transfer between steel upper & lower face sheets, eliminating most of the center body parts while providing better torsional rigidity & improved polar moment or inertia. This is a major breakthrough.
After Tesla unveiled the radical new design last month, several people pointed out that it could be an issue with repair in case of a crash.
The CEO briefly addressed that today:
The crash absorption rails can be cut off and replaced with a bolted part for collision repair.
Tesla’s new structural battery pack requires the new 4680 battery cells in order to work.
The automaker is currently ramping up production of the cells at its pilot plant in Fremont and aims to reach 10 GWh of annual production capacity by the end of next year.
It would be enough to produce over 100,000 Model Y vehicles per year.