Today, the official Tesla account tweeted that the company’s Kato Road facility in Freemont, California, a pilot site for battery production, celebrated their 1 Millionth 4680 cell in January 2022. The batteries produced there, are Tesla’s new 4680 battery that was announced back in September 2020 at Battery Day.
The new battery offers many advantages over the existing 2170 and 1865 form factors (each value correlates to length and height. The energy density should be as much as 5x, the power as much as 6x and a range improvement of as much as 16% and the cost of production drops significantly.
When potential customers hear these numbers, your start to expect a vehicle that is cheaper goes further on a single charge and with energy that can be deployed faster for improved performance (and potential for improved charging curves).
The reality is, Tesla can play with a number of these factors and decide how much benefit they will extract and how much they’ll pass on to customers.
With larger cells, there will be fewer cells per car, and with more energy density per cell, you need less of them to make the same advertised numbers work. With the move to a structural pack, the car should be lighter, which also means you need fewer cells, so it’s likely Tesla would put in just the necessary amount of 4680 batteries to make the 303-318 miles (487-511km) the Model Y offers today in the US.
So what is Tesla doing with a million of these new batteries? With the Cybertruck delayed till 2023, Tesla are deploying these new 4680s in their new Model Ys coming out of their newest Gigafactory in Austin, Texas.
Today, Elon Musk replied to a tweet from Gali Alfar, to which Elon replied the GigaFest party to celebrate the Gigafactory opening, which will occur on April 1st. While this date obviously looks like a job, it’s actually a happy coincidence, the reason that date makes sense is much more related to the start of the second quarter, giving them a full 3 months of deliveries.
Elon has now posted an update and pushed the date a week later, the event will now be held on April 7th.
From recent drone footage, it’s clear Tesla is ready to start producing vehicles and has already begun producing Model Ys, but can not deliver them until final approval. Now we have a date, it seems Tesla has that approval and it is expected the first batch of Model Ys will be handed over to customers at the event.