Is This Tesla's New Battery Cell?
With Tesla's Battery Day less than a week away, rumors continue to fly about what Tesla will discuss. Many expect Tesla to announce the details of a battery cell designed and manufactured in-house by the company themselves. Now, Electrek says they have received images of such a battery cell which they claim to have confirmed the authenticity of with other sources.
The pictured cell appears to be a much larger form factor than the 18650 and 2170 cells used in Tesla's vehicles today. Those numbers represent dimensions, 18mm x 65mm and 21mm x 70mm, respectively.
In Electrek's photos, the number 54 can be seen printed on the cell. It's possible that this number could refer to the cell's diameter. If so, the height of the cell can be estimated as well. Twitter user @_BRCooper estimates a height of 98mm based on a possible diameter of 54mm. The estimate seems plausible based on the size of the cell relative to the hand in the images.
A battery cell with dimensions of 54mm x 98mm has approximately 9.25 times as much volume as the 2170 cells Tesla uses in the Model 3 and Model Y. The battery packs in these vehicles contain more than 4,000 cells a piece. If this new cell is indeed Tesla's, it could reduce the number of required cells to fewer than 500 per vehicle.
While the vehicle's performance would depend on the other characteristics of the battery, if all else was equal, a larger cell would presumably allow Tesla to increase battery production rates and lower manufacturing costs.
For more discussion on the potential of a new battery cell from Tesla as well as updated price targets on TSLA stock, please see the included video and make sure to follow Tesla Daily for all the updates on Tesla's upcoming Battery Day.
Disclosure: Rob Maurer is long TSLA stock and derivatives.