Tesla announced a week ago that Giga Texas (its large factory just outside of Austin, Texas) had produced 10 million of the company’s new 4680 battery cells. That sounds like a lot! Well, let’s be honest, that is a lot! However, it’s probably not as many as you’d think on the surface. You have to crunch some numbers in order to get a sense of what that really means in terms of number of electric vehicle battery packs, or more simply, the number of Tesla vehicles those cells could power.
Actually, you don’t have to crunch the numbers, because Troy has. Tesla stat tracker, number geek, and chart creator “Troy Teslike” has put out his estimates for what 10 million 4680 cells means in a broader sense.
First of all, he notes that “5 million cells per month are enough for only 6,038/month Model Y SR or 4,058/month Cybertruck SR.” So, 10 million cells would be enough for ~12,000 units of the lowest-range Model Y or ~8,000 units of the lowest-range Cybertruck (when that comes to market). That doesn’t sound so impressive. Also, of course, if you wanted to include a blended average of longer-range and shorter-range Model Ys or Cybertrucks, the totals would be considerably lower.
Getting into the details a little further, Troy Teslike writes, “Based on my calculation, the Cybertruck Standard Range battery pack will have around 1,232 cells and 100 kWh capacity. Model Y SR has 828 cells and 67.3 kWh capacity.”
And what about the bigger picture? Tesla Giga Texas is supposed to produce 4680 battery cells for the Tesla Cybertruck and other Tesla vehicles. “That’s 8% of what Giga Texas needs for Model Y and Cybertruck. So, still, a long way to go,” Troy notes. Someone asked, “Will Cybertruck also be able to use 2170 cells?” Troy, of course, does not work for Tesla or know everything, but he follows the company very closely and gets various tips. His opinion was straightforward: “Maybe but there aren’t enough 2170 cells either.” Indeed.
With all of that in mind, one does wonder if a slow production ramp-up of 4680 battery cells could delay Cybertruck production further. Naturally, Tesla could get 4680 cells elsewhere, but the idea was that Tesla Giga Texas would produce the cells and the trucks. Also, while Tesla has produced just 10 million 4680 cells to date, it could produce 10 million a month in a couple of months, and 30 million a month not longer after that, and so on. Or not. We just don’t know.
So, with this little bit of info, we still don’t know much about where Tesla will be a year from now, but adding context around what exactly 10 million cells can mean in terms of vehicle volumes does help to see the bigger picture.
What are your thoughts on this? How bullish are you on Tesla 4680 battery production in Texas and elsewhere?
They are still late.
Not including Semi, model 3 and, most importantly, the small car.
— MSH (@mesanabinladen) June 17, 2023
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