Tesla has been killing it in the EV industry for the last 10 years or so. The major accomplishments of Tesla in the EV space are attributed to its cutting-edge battery technology. If it were not for the advanced battery technology of Tesla, its Models couldn’t breach the 500 miles mark.
With most Tesla models going as far as 300 miles on a single charge, many people question if Tesla batteries are the best in the world. Let’s critically analyze the performance of a Tesla battery and try to find out the answer to this question.
Evolution of Tesla’s Battery Technology
Tesla batteries are regarded as one of the best electric vehicle batteries in the world. They offer the best range and life. The company has been making progress in battery technology for the past 15 years. During this time, Tesla has managed to improve the battery energy density, charge holding capacity, and overall battery design to remove any complexities.
This all began with the first-ever EV battery made by Tesla in 2008. This was when the company launched its first model, which was known Tesla Roadster at the time. It was laced with a 53.0 kWh lithium-ion battery. These batteries were way ahead of their time in 2008. With this battery pack, Roadster was able to go 244 miles on a single charge.
The energy density of this 53.0 kWh battery pack was capped at 117 Wh/kg. This figure seems low in comparison to what Tesla has achieved today. Thanks to all the advancements in battery technology, Tesla cars have breached the 400 miles mark. The range of the upcoming Tesla Cybertruck is expected to be around 500 miles which is amazing.
Where are Tesla Batteries Manufactured?
The majority of Tesla batteries are manufactured in Tesla’s Gigafactory located in Sparks, Nevada. This facility was originally set up in 2014. The setup of this factory took place in several stages, due to which it has been operational since day one. Gigafactory spans over 1.2 million sq. ft. at the moment, but the available operational space is over 5.3 million sq. ft.
It means that Nevada Gigafactory is only 30% complete. Once it is operational at 100% capacity, Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory will become the largest battery and motor manufacturing plant in the entire world. Even at the moment, it is among the world’s highest-volume plants for electric vehicle batteries and associated components.
In addition to this main facility, there are four other facilities where Tesla batteries are manufactured. These include the New York, Shanghai, Texas, and Berlin-Brandenburg Gigafactories. Each of these facilities specializes in one certain area. For example, the Berlin-Brandenburg Gigafactory was set up to cater to the growing needs of the European markets.
Similarly, Tesla’s Texas Gigafactory is being developed to produce the batteries of the upcoming Cybertruck. Cybertruck will feature the most advanced battery by Tesla so far in terms of energy density and efficiency. The Shanghai facility focuses on the batteries of Model 3 and Model Y, while the New York facility is known for manufacturing solar roofs, solar panels, and electrical components for superchargers.
Tesla Batteries Vs. Others
Tesla batteries are based on the most advanced battery technology. They have the highest energy density. The latest 4680 cells of Tesla can reach an energy density of up to 300 Wh/kg. In contrast, other automakers are struggling to crack past the 250 mark. Energy density is probably the most important factor in battery technology.
Once the energy density is maximized, you can enjoy the benefits of a longer range per charge. A battery with high energy density can pack more charge and release that over an extended period. But that’s not all. Only a high energy density cannot assure the quality performance of a battery pack. Rather it is a combination of charging infrastructure, ease of integration, and the BMS.
Tesla cars have the best internal charging infrastructure. It ensures that the charging speed is up to the mark. The peak DC charging power of Tesla cars is maxed out at 250 kW. There are only a handful of cars that can surpass this DC power and reach up to 300 kW. Cars such as GMC Hummer EV SUT may offer better-charging rates than a Tesla.
The battery management system of Tesla is very meticulously designed. It controls and monitors the factors such as battery temperature, state of charge, and battery health. BMS collects data from various sensors and uses it to optimize the performance of the battery.
What is the Concept Behind Tesla Powerwall?
Tesla Powerwall is a smart solar power storage solution to provide backup for your home during an outage. It can support the power needs of your house for days. The best part about the Tesla Powerwall is that it completely runs on solar power. While Tesla has been leading the EV battery industry, the company is also transforming and disrupting the general battery market.
There are many similar solutions on the market, but Tesla being Tesla has a habit of adding a personal touch to things. The Tesla Powerwall has a capacity of 13.5 kWh with an inverter efficiency of 97.5%, making it one of the most efficient energy backup solutions on the market.
You can stack up to 10 Powerwalls to meet your power needs. The design of a Tesla Powerwall is extremely friendly for children and pets. The complete system does not have any exposed wires or terminals that may present a risk of getting electrocuted.
How Often Do You Need to Change Tesla Batteries?
Not very often. Tesla batteries are some of the most reliable EV batteries. They can last between 8-12 years if your regular commute is 30-50 miles a day. The matter of life expectancy of an EV battery is much more complicated than a regular battery. A regular battery isn’t affected by driving patterns and factors associated with a moving vehicle.
There are a number of variable factors that can affect the lifespan of an EV battery. Some of which are personal driving habits, environmental conditions, usage, type of charging station used for charging, and discharge levels. Personal driving habits can vary from person to person. If you’re someone who puts their vehicle to extreme work, then batteries will not last long.
Hot and cold weather can affect the performance levels of an EV battery. An EV battery that was exposed to harsh climatic conditions will have a shorter life as compared to the one that was kept in mild conditions. Plus, the level of the charging station can also impact battery health.
Frequently fast-charging your battery pack isn’t a good idea. Power delivery to the battery at higher rates results in a high level of heat generation. This heat may cause irreversible damage to the battery pack of your Tesla. In turn, reducing the life expectancy of your battery.
How Much Does it Cost to Change Tesla Batteries?
It depends. All Tesla batteries are covered by a warranty of 8-10 years or 120,000 to 150,000 miles. Tesla claims that the battery will retain a minimum of 70% of its capacity. If it is unable to do so or the battery fails due to some other reason, Tesla will replace the batteries free of cost.
Otherwise, battery replacement is a major cost. Going out of your own pocket can set you back at least $12,000 to $25,000 depending upon the make and model of your Tesla. Different Tesla models are laced with different battery packs. Though all battery packs are based on the lithium-ion design, the sizes can range between 50 kWh and 100 kWh.
With this much variation in size, we cannot say how much it will cost to replace Tesla batteries. An appropriate answer will be a lot if you’re going out of your own pocket. However, Tesla often announces replacement drives for its owners. Here you might be able to get a battery pack at heavily discounted rates.
In some cases, the lithium-ion battery pack can be refurbished, but that is highly unlikely. Because once the battery pack has degraded below 70%, its performance is adversely affected. A degraded battery would not only result in a shorter range, but it can cause problems with the charging infrastructure of your Tesla in general.
Final Word, EV Battery Tesla Vs. Others
We saw that Tesla has one of the most advanced battery technology in the world. The company has been producing batteries that not only pack more energy but are also more efficient and reliable. The batteries of Tesla have a life expectancy of 8-12 years or 120,000 to 150,000 miles depending upon the make and model. They can last even longer.
All Tesla batteries are covered by a replacement warranty. However, if Tesla batteries were to fail outside of warranty, it would be a major expense. Other than EV batteries, Tesla is also involved in home backup solar power solutions for years. You can run your home appliance on Tesla Powerwall for days in case of an outage.
Overall, Tesla batteries are based on cutting-edge technology, and they are manufactured with great precision. This ensures a remarkable performance and longer life expectancy. What are your thoughts on the battery technology of Tesla?
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