Elon Musk: Tesla To Probably Stop At 100 kWh Battery


100 kWh A Stopping Point?

100 kWh A Stopping Point?

Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently took to Twitter to respond to a thrilled P100D owner. Musk’s response wasn’t as expected though.

Instead of responding with something along the lines of just “Glad you like it!” Musk added another line in there that caught our attention. Musk stated:

“I think we will probably stop at 100 kWh on battery size.”

This isn’t too surprising really, as Musk has suggested all along that at some point you’re just carrying around a lot of battery weight that never gets put into use. Maybe 100 kWh and approximately 315 miles of range are the magic numbers then?

How Much Would Range Increase If P Was Removed?

How Much Would Range Increase If P Was Removed?

But by Musk stating that 100 kWh is probably the biggest Tesla will offer, another side benefit comes into play. Would-be Tesla buyers who perhaps thought an even bigger battery was on the way soon will now feel relatively confident that they can buy without the risk of having a car that gets trumped by an even bigger battery version down the road.

In the Model S, the 100 kWh battery is good for 315 miles of range and when the non-Performance version is launched, that range figure could jump to approximately 340-plus miles. We feel that’s more than enough for any driver out there, so 100 kWh is a solid stopping point in our eyes.

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115 Comments on "Elon Musk: Tesla To Probably Stop At 100 kWh Battery"

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Well, I think they simply can’t fit any more in the car without some new chemistry. Granted the range is plenty sufficient. However, 100KWh might not be enough for a larger vehicle like a pickup truck.


There are always use-cases for more range, but they have the existing contract with Panasonic, and are working on a different format at the Gigafactory.

Other priorities:
– New format at Gigafactory
– See out existing contract with Panasonic
– Reduce cost
– Reduce weight
– Increase charging rate

If the competition Goes 110kwh they’ll Find room for more battery power… lol

It won’t be long till we see trailers of all types with battery enough to keep range from dropping for use of said trailer. Maybe even just a trailer ( after market ) just for long distance travel.

500+km of range is great.

David Murray said:

“100KWh might not be enough for a larger vehicle like a pickup truck.”

Indeed. I can’t imagine that Tesla would offer a pickup truck without making an even larger battery pack an option for it. Anyone who uses a pickup for hauling heavy loads on a daily basis, or for frequent towing, is going to want more than 100 kWh of battery capacity.

At least two Model X owners have reported that towing a trailer, even one that’s not especially large, results in the range being reduced by half. So I can easily see that some customers might want a 200 kWh battery pack, or even more. Now, I doubt that Tesla will be selling any PEV with 200+ kWh within the near term, say within the next five years. But I think it would be naive to suggest that we will never see 200+ kWh battery packs in light truck production vehicles.

Seems they could build a 1 ton chassis that carries a half ton of battery… maybe a modular bed system that contains one 100 kWh battery… and has space for a second 100 stacked on it. It will be able to tow a mega load… especially if the trailer is moderately aerodynamic and has low rolling resistance. The trucks are gonna blow people’s minds when they finally get here. Probably the next gen after 2018.

No I disagree there are room for a bit more, but somewhere down the line it stops to make sense
I Think that limit is around 120KWH because then it start to compete with Gas cars.
And then it is the beginning of the end of the discussion of range issues on BEV.

There isn’t going to be any specific number for the upper limit to battery size for future EVs; not even for passenger cars and light trucks. The amount of needed battery capacity will greatly depend on the size of the car. Bigger and heavier vehicles will need larger battery packs to have the same range, just as larger and heavier gasmobiles have larger gas tanks so they can all have a minimum of 300 miles of range.

120 kWh may be adequate for a small car. A Rolls-Royce or a full-sized pickup is going to need a considerably larger one, just as they have considerably larger gas tanks.

Here’s an outlier that may be useful as an upper limit: The Hummer H2 has a 32 gallon gas tank. If the average small car has a 13.5 gallon gas tank, and if that equates to, say, a 90 kWh battery pack, then “napkin math” suggests that a really large light truck BEV might have a battery pack as big as 213 kWh. And my guess is that one of those oversized GMC pickups would need even more.

Building the DC Quick Charge net (SuperChargers, CHAdeMOs, and CCS/SAE Combo to as many locations as can possibly support it. Convenience stores could use 25kW… Movie theaters and malls need more Level 2 charging… Airports need more 110 outlets in the long term parking along with DC Quick chargers that would be used for quick turnaround trips to the airports and train stations. If we build it they will come.

Totally disagree, we know Tesla is working on a truck and a people mover, so maybe for the Model S 100kWh is max, but they will be building bigger batteries for other models.

Even Model X towing a trailer would significantly benefit from more power. For normal driving 90kWh is plenty with the super charger network and all, even the 60kWh is still viable. Towing is a different story.

More energy?

The Model X has abundant power.

We don’t know what “truck” actually means…Could be an Avalanche-like-bed on a Model X or the smaller Model Y…

Please no Avalanches or El Caminos… or Honda Unibody pickups… Please Tesla make a serious work truck… so a person could drive to a job and use an inverter to power tools etc.

The plain 100-no P-no L with 340 miles range is enough. 5.5 sec 0-60 time is fine and I agree with elon that 100 kwh is enough. As battery energy density increases, weight will come down and range will go up.

No, sorry
I drove many trips on my 85D, if there was a 120KW battery I would be first in line!

90D is the sweet spot I think. Feels more plentyfull than the P85 I drove two years ago or the P85D I drove recently, but part of that also is the more aerodynamic front of the newer models and other efficiency improvements.

Well, heat cycles in winter can still make a 90 have to stretch to make it through a third day of commuting, without having to be re-charged. That may sound like a tall order, but some will compare it to gasing up once a week and cling to an expectation. Of course, the EV owner doesn’t have to **GO** to the gas station, and presumably has an outlet near their car, but still. With density changes, I bet Elon reaches for more.

A sweet spot is individual. Mine is at 120 kWh.

True, and also geographically differrent – in Germany when going 120moh on the freeway range is more of an issue than in California where you average 75

120 is the sweeter spot. I’ll take it!

Hopefully you will have it at the end of 2017 with 2170 cells. I would like to see P111DL lightweight carbon version

Bigger battery = better time for the next Canonball Run!

But if that 100 kWh pack got lighter over time allowing for even more range and over time is designed to recharge even faster then wouldn’t 350 miles of solid range with a 10 minute recharge time be good enough in the future?

Tesla will probably begin to work on bringing price down and making the packs lighter and charge quicker rather than continue to make them bigger with brute force to get more range.

I don’t think even most owners of gas cars care if they have 350-400 miles range vs. 600 miles of range especially if they could keep it topped off in their garage.

Then when on road trips people stop for breaks and refill with gas anyway so stopping for 10-15 minutes to Supercharge for another 300-350 miles won’t be a limitation.

It’s only the rare road warrior that will claim they like to drive nonstop for 10 hours without taking any breaks.

philip d said:

“But if that 100 kWh pack got lighter over time allowing for even more range and over time is designed to recharge even faster then wouldn’t 350 miles of solid range with a 10 minute recharge time be good enough in the future?”

I would think that would be enough for at least 95% of drivers; perhaps 98%. But as you can see from posts in this very discussion, no matter how big the range is, some few are going to want more.

Let’s remember that the “S” curve of adoption in any disruptive tech revolution tapers off at the top. The last 1-2% of the market may never be satisfied with a BEV, regardless of the range. There may be some few who will continue to demand a fuel-powered vehicle. But hopefully, in the future, that fuel will be something less polluting than gasoline or diesel.

So, for a hot environment requiring A/C and perhaps cooling for the battery, what is the real range? Same for cold weather requiring heat?

I think it would be useful to continue to increase battery size until the market thinks it has enough. Clearly, Elon doesn’t feel, at this point, that the potential reward balances the risk.

I have always wondered why you couldn’t have optional add-on battery modules (allow an owner to put one in the frunk, for instance.)

Remember, too, that larger batteries give longer life for a given usage pattern due to the lower depth of discharge. It would be interesting to see the cost-benefit vs usage graph for that.

No. The Model S page used to have a range estimator at the bottom. You could select temperatures of 0F, 32F, 50F 70F and 90F (I might be wrong on the 50 and 70, but you get the idea), you could select speeds in 5mph intervals from 45-70mph, you could toggle on/off cabin heat and A/C, and you could toggle between the 19″ rims and 21″ rims with performance tires.

I tried it out, looking at every variable compared to the others, and the cold weather was devastating. 32F plus heater @ 65mph took off double-digit percentages of max range, where 90F plus A/C took off only 2 or 3% of the max range.

The max range @ 65mph was at 70F with no A/C and with the 19″ wheels.

Thanks, Tom. Appreciate the cold weather information.

I live in the Mojave Desert where 90F is a nice day (dry heat), and we occasionally have month-long stretches of 105 with spikes above 110. Car sits out in the sun all day during work, requiring max A/C for most of the 43mile drive home. There were a few times in my Prius where the battery fan kicked on right away and didn’t go off until I was half way home.

One of my co-workers had an electric RAV 4 and only rarely had a nervous drive home, but he really babied it on those days and almost always used the max range mode on the vehicle.

We have nice calm weather on the way in to work, but frequently stiff headwinds on the way home. But, while the temperature is a general characteristic of the area, the winds are more a point case for us, so I’ll leave that out of the equation.

Too bad they took the range calculator down.

TomArt said:

“…cold weather was devastating. 32F plus heater @ 65mph took off double-digit percentages of max range, where 90F plus A/C took off only 2 or 3% of the max range.”

It’s true that A/C use doesn’t have much impact on range at highway speeds. (I think it was on a “Myth Busters” show where they demonstrated that driving at highway speed with the windows down has a bigger impact on MPG than running the A/C. Of course that was with a gasmobile, but the same principle of energy required applies to plug-in EVs.)

Where A/C use has real impact is when you’re in stop-and-go traffic, or worse, if you’re stuck in a traffic jam. If you run the A/C for hours, it’s going to have an impact on range, even if you’re driving very slowly.

User-pluggable batteries likely present safety issues.

Bob A. asked: “So, for a hot environment requiring A/C and perhaps cooling for the battery, what is the real range? Same for cold weather requiring heat?” Figure a 30% loss of range in very cold or very hot weather as a worst-case scenario. But also remember that battery capacity drops as the car ages. Depending on how long you keep the car, you may lose 10-15% of capacity (perhaps worse if you buy a Leaf or some other PEV (Plug-in EV) that doesn’t have an active TMS (Thermal Management System)). So if, for example, you think you need a car with 90 kWh battery capacity, you plan to keep the car for more than 10 years, and you live in a region where it sometimes gets down to subzero (Fahrenheit) temperatures in the winter or else it sometimes gets very hot (over 90° F) in the summer, then figure 90 x 1.3 x 1.15 = ~135 kWh for a compact car, and somewhat more for a larger car such as the Model S. As you can see, there are a lot of factors that will affect what size of battery capacity any individual needs. “Your mileage may vary” perhaps… Read more »

My guess is Elon’s answer would have been different if the original tweet had come from a P100D Model X owner: I read his response as 100kWh being the max for the Model S.

Think so likewise. I saw Tesla Bjoern haul a camper-trailer with doing about 60-100 miles on a charge. That could improve.

Why not towing a Tesla trailer, with An additional 50Kw in the floor? Better stability too!

The Tesla Trailer maybe should have its own drive train, since current Tesla Vehicles don’t have a plug for a trailer to feed power to, while moving.

There will always be those who want more more more!!!

No, just look at the numbers, how many KM does a gas powered car go!
People want the same range as they are use to
And Tesla is very close

People want unrealistic range. That is way more then they actually ever drive the longest on the trip.

So most EV driver actually start to lower their needs to the level that is closer to their actual needs.

Needs do not change. Abnormal expectations become a bit more saner 😉

No sorry , just being realistic, had 6 trips around Europe this last year, 120KWH will be the sweet spot!

przemo_li said:

“People want unrealistic range.”

As a rule of thumb, all passenger car and light truck gasmobiles have at least 300 miles of range. If you try to tell Joe Average that 300 miles of range in a PEV (Plug-in EV) is “unrealistic”, that will simply cause him to decide that he’d better stick to gasmobiles.

It’s not at all unrealistic to believe that as battery tech continues to advance, each new generation of BEVs will get longer and longer ranges, until — just like gasmobiles — all or nearly all of them have at least 300 miles of real-world range. The only exception, I think, would be those which are not highway capable; NEVs, motorized quadricycles, and the like.

Well considering my gas powered truck does 650 miles empty and 400 miles towing my 5,000 pound camper trailer on a tank of fuel I want the same from the Model X. I do 500- 1000 mile trips with this combo all the time and need the range. Unfortunately it seems Tesla will never be able to replace my F150.

Yes but who drive newer 650 miles without stop, you need toilet food and a rest, and that really works pretty well with the superchargers!

Sure but to stop every 100 miles because of the range impact of towing will make it ridiculous

Hopefully we will see EV with 130kWh battery pack made from 2170 cell. It’s possible if Model X has 10% longer wheel base. Tesla could make it after 15 months if has enough money for new version of Model X.

I had ~1000 mile range on my last ICE-only car.
I did not need that much and I don’t see any reason to have it on an EV.

But I want 370 miles. I’m currently on 107 miles and will go 200+ in about 2 years. I’m expecting those 370 at a fairly affordable price in less than 10 years.

Agree 100%

(Trollnonymous)…and have so much money, money, money.
Please send some of your excess cash to me. Thanks in advance!

Cash or Check?


Just as we thought. In other related Tesla news Tesla sues someone else, (Michigan) for a change:
[Semantically incorrect since Michigan is not a someone, but since corporations are people states may as well be too.]

Talking to myself: Tesla getting into Michigan is like a spy drone trying to survive a fly-over of a gathering of the Detroit Highwaymen, (motorcycle gang) on a Saturday night.

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: 60 kWh in a smaller and more efficient car is just about the sweet spot for the majority of drivers. Any more means – again, for MOST people – only an hour or two per year less time spent DCFC charging. As long as batteries cost near (or as now, more than) $100 per kWh and weigh as much (20 kWh extra capacity may cost $100 per year to tug around) it simply isn’t worth it having more, IMO. Do you want to pay $2500 (including margin to the manufacturer) more initially, plus $100 extra every year, or spend two extra hours each year eating something yummy for that cash instead and still have some left over..? Pretty easy decision for me. But some need much more. If you want to drive to faraway lands with a caravan in tow, 100 kWh isn’t nearly enough. You’d get less than half the range. Not sure what the best solution is. You could put a battery in the caravan and connect to the car, but to make this work the DCFC port really ought to be at the back of all EVs (and standardized).… Read more »

By sweet spot you really mean bare minimum for wider acceptance.

Being bearable and hitting the sweet spot are two very different things.

Mikael said:

“By sweet spot you really mean bare minimum for wider acceptance.”

Indeed. Telling a potential customer “Well, you need to learn to live with less” isn’t a great selling point in any market.

People don’t want the bare minimum. They want what will satisfy all their daily needs, not just some of them or most of them. And they want a comfortable margin of safety beyond even that.

When an engineer designs a bridge, does he design it to hold the “bare minimum” of weight he thinks the bridge will need? Heck no! He designs it to hold double the weight that he thinks it will ever need to hold, to make sure there is a wide margin of safety. Now, I’m not suggesting that BEVs should be built with 200% of what the average customer would ever need for a daily drive. But 60 kWh is much too low to really compete on range with gasmobiles, even for a compact car.

Gasmobiles have a minimum of 300 miles of range. We can be pretty confident that most highway-capable future BEVs will have that much range, or more.

With the increasing installs of Superchargers, and destination chargers… the batteries you will need to haul around should not need to grow as fast as some folks think. Clearly folks who do 500+ miles a day should definitely go for the biggest battery. Folks who just go on occasional long trips would be better served by a battery that handles 90% of our daily trips without needing a charge. I currently drive a 24kWh LEAF… for me a 48 to 60 should be enough… a 75 more

Let’s suppose I am Elon Musk and I want to sell now as many Tesla Model S P100D as I can.

Now let’s suppose I plan to sell in the future a Model S with a 120 kWh battery. Would I tell you now? I think the answer is ‘NO’.

In the long run, none of us believe him. As others have pointed out, improvements in energy density will permit more range from the same physical space.

My assumption is that Musk’s statement refers to the probability that they will not brute-force more range – meaning that they won’t add any more cells. The pack is probably maxed. They had to re-design the packaging/cooling in order to get from 90kWh to 100kWh.

Future Model Ses (maybe in 2018 or so) will have more range, but from the same pack volume.

It certainly sounds reasonable to claim that Tesla won’t redesign the Model S and X packs anytime soon, except for one thing: They’re going to start putting the 21-70 Gigafactory cells in them, probably starting sometime next year.

What that’s going to do to the pack-level energy density, I have no idea. It may go up, or it may go down. Gigafactory cells are supposedly going to be a lot cheaper per kWh, but they won’t necessarily show an improvement in energy density.

However, if Tesla switches to something close to the cell chemistry that LG Chem is using, then they might be able to increase DoD (Depth of Discharge), giving more usable capacity even if the total capacity remains the same.

Another Euro point of view

It depends how ambitious car electrification process will be. Typical Euro EUR 15-20K econobox traveling long distances is on a 40 to 50 MPG diet. This with more or less a 15 gallon tank gives between 500 and 600 miles range. This just gives more freedom. OK to stop after 3 hours drive but why at a charging station ?!? What about that nice restaurant we are curious to see or that mountain pass with such beautiful scenery (both places not having a charging station). If 90% of ICE car customers need to be convinced to buy a BEV we will need to see BEV’s equipped with 150Kwh batteries at some point.

Superchargers are located next to amenities, particularly restaurants (but not mountain passes).

There is no way that those Euro econoboxes have 15gal tanks! In the US, they are never bigger than about 12 gal. To find vehicles with 15+gal tanks, you need to go to mid-sized sedans (Ford Fusion) or SUVs (Ford Escape).

Oh, wait, you probably mean litres…if tha’ts the case, then yeah, I believe that econoboxes have 15L tanks (3.54L/gal)…and, at roughly 60-75km/L (1.6km/mi), that’s a big chunk of mileage, although as you said, you don’t drive it all at once (or shouldn’t anyway, for safety reasons).

12 gallons is correct. Minimum.

Unless things have changed significantly within the past very few years, your assertions are factually incorrect. The average tank size for a small car is about 13.5 gallons. That’s U.S. gallons, not the oversized British gallons. Larger cars have larger gas tanks.


The very top of a mountain pass is a dumb spot for a supercharger.

The entire downslope in both directions represents stored energy in the form of potential battery regeneration.

If you are at the top of a mountain pass and you are low on battery, just start driving downhill in either direction and do as much regen as you can.

It makes more sense to put the charger at the bottom of the next valley. Just like the Silverton Colorado Supercharger location.

Nix said: “It makes more sense to put the charger at the bottom of the next valley. Just like the Silverton Colorado Supercharger location.” Well, I find myself in rare disagreement with Nix. I think it makes more sense to put the charger at the bottom of the previous valley, not the next one. Of course, whether that valley is the “next” one or the “previous” one depends on which direction you’re going, so perhaps that’s a good location after all. My friend who owns a circa 1999 Honda Insight (a non-plug in HEV like the Prius) said that when driving down the other side of the Colorado rockies, his battery pack achieved 100% charge from recovered energy. Is it going to be different with a BEV? Well, maybe. But the best place to put EV chargers is where cars would be expected to be low on charge. Based on reports I’ve seen from BEV drivers: If you’ve just driven down a mountain, chances are your battery pack is at least a third full. Of course, that’s a vast over-generalization. Not all mountains are created equal. If the mountain is a long gentle slope, more like the Appalachians than the… Read more »

As battery capacity rises the pack weight required to hold 100 kwh will lessen. This will increase the range slightly. The only change would eventually be battery packs built with the new size cell.

300 miles is a good practical range. At this point there is far more benefit to advancing fast charge technology and improving the battery energy density. If Tesla can pull of the Model 3 then maybe demand will drive innovation at an even faster pace.

I am a bit surprised over this, we know that tesla will have new battery cells 2170 wish will be in Model S and X later. If they have the same chemistry but higher it means that they should be able to get in more energy. Why want it try to make a battery as big as possible when?

As far as I know, the S (and probably the X) cannot accommodate the new, larger cells under development.

For the S platform to go to that format, they’ll probably come out with an overhaul of the model (rather than just another “refresh”).

Tesla will certainly have to redesign the battery pack (again!) to accommodate the new battery cells. But since they’re supposed to be some 30-50% cheaper than what Tesla is currently using, obviously Tesla has a very powerful motive to do so!

I don’t know that it will need a “refresh” of the car just to redesign the battery pack again. If Tesla changes from the current vertical orientation of the cells to a horizontal layout, they may not even have to increase the height of the pack.

But I’m pretty sure that whatever it is they’re going to do about making the Model S and X with the cheaper Gigafactory cells, Tesla has already planned it out in detail.

It’s credible that 100 kwh is all they plan for the Model S now … they’ve got so many other priorities to work on. But I believe that down the road we’ll see that top end number creep up again, at least on the X and probably on the S as well.

Eh. Just waiting for better chemistry that could happen in a few years. I’m sure they are involved in doing research into different chemistries and how to manufacture them and keep them safe.

Like RAM, people will want more and more.

If strong man Trump and Republicans in US Congress gain control of white house and Congress in 2017 you can kiss goodbye battery innovation for electric vehicles and all incentives for renewable energy. Trump and Republicans would promote oil pipelines, reversing fuel efficiency in gas guzzlers, and destroying Tesla. Don’t wait to long.

Nearly all the battery innovation is coming from commercial battery makers competing to produce cheaper, longer-lasting batteries with better DoD (Depth of Discharge).

If “The Donald” becomes President — Flying Spaghetti Monster forbid! — then that will be be a disaster for our nation in many ways, but I don’t think battery innovation would be singled out for reduction in R&D.

Even completely eliminating tax refunds and other subsidies for EVs wouldn’t significantly slow battery innovation. Let’s remember that cell phones, laptop computers, and other consumer electronics all depend on li-ion batteries these days. Everybody wants a cell phone and a laptop that can be charged in 10 minutes and stay charged for two weeks. What’s good for cell phone batteries is also good for EV batteries.

Not that I support anyone here — but the federal EV incentives were done by Bush – a Republican. Obama really has done nothing additional for EVs other than raise fuel standards further. Remember, Obama supports the big 3 and unions first…. EV technology has a huge potential to bring jobs to the US — so don’t write any of the candidates off.

Incorrect. Tesla recived a DOE loan in 2010 during the Obama administration that many credit with its current existence and their ability to bring the Model S to market.

Additionally, there was a the Cash for Clunkers program in 2009 that gave direct rebates for customer who traded in low mileage cars for high mileage cars and several tens of billions towards battery and electric vehicle start ups as part of the ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) of 2009.

Beyond that, intervention during the GM bankruptcy in 2009 included a drive towards more fuel efficient vehicles and bringing the Volt to market.

And even beyond that, Tesla is soon to be a battery and solar company and the Obama administration increased and extended the solar investment tax credit (which is credited for the growth of solar today through its previously planned phase out) and the battery storage tax credit.

dante2308 said:

“Incorrect. Tesla recived a DOE loan in 2010 during the Obama administration that many credit with its current existence and their ability to bring the Model S to market.”

No, Leafowner is correct. Setting up the DOE loan program happened during the Bush Jr. administration. Personally, I think it’s absurd to credit (and blame) the President for everything that happens during their administration, including what programs are put into law by Congress. But if you must give credit for the DOE loan program to a President, rather than the people who really deserve that credit, then Bush Jr. gets the credit.

The new 21-70 battery that is slated to go into the Model III should provide an ability, in a couple of years, to increase the capacity of the Model S and X packs within the existing space constraints. I can’t imagine that Tesla wouldn’t offer an option for a somwhat larger battery pack at that time. There are probably diminishing returns above 100KWhs and 300+ miles, but people who frequently drive long distances might want a little more, especially for the X.

Maybe the 21700 cell for Model ≡ will start at 2900 or 3100mah with the ability to go to 4200mah?

Just a SWAG so don’t nobody flame on me……lol

If I remember correctly, the current cells in the S and X are 3.4 Ah. I would sincerely hope that the new cells are around or above 4 Ah.

Panasonic/Sanyo have already been selling NCR20700A and NCR20700B cells for a long time now. NCR20700A cells have been used in cordless power tool battery packs for more than a year now in Metabo LiHD packs, and Bosch have announced new battery packs with the same cells that are going to be released this fall. Panasonic themselves also use these cells in for their latest 18V cordless power drill. Model S has used NCR18500B cells since the start. The NCR20700B is just a larger version of the same cell. NCR20700B has a rated capacity of 4000 mAh and a typical capacity of 4250 mAh. Source: http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?419832-Tesla-s-gigafactory-dropping-18650-s-and-going-with-20700-per-Elon-Musk&p=4910487&viewfull=1#post4910487 So you can be pretty sure the slightly larger 21700 cells Tesla will be using will have a larger capacity than Panasonic/Sanyo NCR20700B. Everyone can already buy the NCR20700A and NCR20700B cells in this German battery webshop: http://akkuplus.de/LC20700 Tesla isn’t the “inventor” of the new 20700/21700 format or even the first customer of this format either, even though they like to portrait it like it’s a format especially developed for the Tesla M3. Both Paasonic/Sanyo and Samsung have had these cells for a long time marketed to power tool and e-bike manufacturers and more and… Read more »

Peter said:

“Tesla isn’t the ‘inventor’ of the new 20700/21700 format or even the first customer of this format either, even though they like to portrait it like it’s a format especially developed for the Tesla M3. Both Paasonic/Sanyo and Samsung have had these cells for a long time…”

No. Perhaps Panasonic/Sanyo and Samsung have had cells of a similar size to the new 21-70 Gigafactory cells. But we can be sure that the internal arrangement is different, since Tesla has patents for those details.

Since the form factor is a simple cylinder, it’s hardly a surprise that somebody out there has made cells of a similar size. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the same form factor. And it was an already existing form factor, then why are the Gigafactory cells being labeled 21-70, rather than 21700? Is that just a marketing ploy by Tesla, as you seem to be suggesting, or is it really a new form factor?

I bet 10 years from now, Tesla will have 160-200 kWh

IMHO, going beyond 100KWH is pretty silly. You are just lugging around more heavy battery that you don’t need 98% of the time.

That said, I would still offer versions with larger batteries but charge a huge premium of them. If someone is dumb enough to pay juicy big premium for something they don’t need . . . I’d be more than willing to provide it to them.



I just bought a new headlamp which has more power then I need!

We do that all the time…

I bet you own one or two things which you don’t really need in order to survive…

I’ll bet very few of those things cost you ~$180 for every 1% improvement. At that price, you’d be very careful to buy no more than you really need, unless you’re rich enough to have more dollars than sense.

By “probably stop at 100 kWh” Elon really means “I want you to buy the top model now so that you don’t hold out for the 110 kWh and 120 kWh cars I will release in the next year or two”.

The Model X will get closer to 150 kWh at least before he stops.


I expect that when Tesla starts making Pickup Trucks and Step Vans, then will likely install multiple 100kWHr packs.

Interesting point – modular designs to handle multiple standardized packs could very well help reign in costs for both development and manufacture.

By the way, I thought it was a sword.

A modular design for a li-ion battery pack means each module has to have its own BMS (Battery Management System), as well as each module requiring connections for the liquid cooling/heating system. That latter bit would introduce more points of possible leakage/failure.

I’m not saying it won’t happen; merely pointing out that there are disadvantages to such a design.

I remember an article about a Chinese EV that uses a modular battery design, but I think that car uses lead-acid rather than li-ion batteries.

Interesting thought. They could be fully redundant in that if one pack and cooling system fails, the other could get you where you are going.

Another leader in tech, Bill Gates, said much the same thing.

Paraphrasing: “512k is more than anybody will ever need.”

My current laptop has 6GbRAM and 500GbSSD and that’s sometimes not enough.

For something like an F150 replacement, 200kWh is barely enough.

Remember: Batteries will get and have been getting lighter and smaller with more power over time. Just look at battery-powered hand tools or smartphones.

That was back when Bill Gates was an engineer that tried to make thing efficient. He eventually learned that you have keep bloating your product up in order to keep people buying new versions every year.

I doubt they will stop at 100kwh if the cost and technology makes more possible.

100kwh is a decent sized battery. However in certain conditions like cold weather, traveling at highway speeds on a journey that significantly raises elevation that 100kwh might as well be 50kwh in ideal conditions.

Maybe the Model S is due for a replacement soon, so 100 kWh is all it will ever get.

I think 100kwh is more than enough. At this point they should concentrate on improving energy density and chemistry to reduce the weight of the batteries. Range will increase and cost of battery will be lower.

Musk’s reply sounds like an engineering resource decision for the Model S. It is obviously not a statement about battery technology having no room for improvement.

At 100 kWh, faster or more flexible charging improvements would garner a bigger desire than range increases. Is Tesla’s best engineering talent better spent on a bigger battery or figuring out a way for EVs to be charged in apartment, street, and parking lot settings?

Currently, the most important innovation in battery tech needs be making batteries with a much lower resistance to charging/ discharging, so they can be charged much faster without overheating.

There have been promising lab demos using battery electrodes with graphene attached, which vastly increases the surface area of the electrodes, thus vastly reducing the resistance. But manufacturing stable graphene in industrial quantities has eluded manufacturers.

At any rate, whatever breakthrough is going to enable significantly faster charging batteries, I doubt it’s going to come from Tesla. It will almost certainly come from some company or research group with a much narrower focus to their R&D.

I don’t see batteries suddenly being blocked at 100 KWh. Perhaps for the moment but they will still have to increase energy content up to between 150 KWh and 200 KWh. Driving is not only on clear dry roads under the sun with a brand new car but also driving in freezing conditions in the snow and with a 10 or 15 year old car. We also don’t want to give up range in comparison with gas cars, at contrary we want more range than gas cars.
Future ev are going to be much more amazing than what we think right now because we are still in the infancy of ev. When Nokia sold their new mobile phone in the nineties, people thought that was the end of the innovation but then Apple and Samsung came along with still better phones. It will be the same for cars and if Tesla stops at 100 KWh others will take over and carry on until customers demand is satisfied. At 100 KWh we are on the good way but nowhere near 150 KWh and even less so to the higher value of 200 KWh.

I remember a much quoted line from Bill Gates saying that nobody will ever need more than 640 kilobytes of RAM.

100kWh is more than enough for me. My ideal car is a car that I can drive for 2 hours on the motorway in France in winter. So ~260km of range (2h). With a compact 4m30 hatchback I will need 65kWh.
I test with the Renault Zoé on motorway, for 50km of driving, I used 8.9kWh of the battery. I will need 45-47kWh, I don’t like to drive more than 2 hours and a half. The Bolt and its 68kWh will be exactly my kind of car. Even after 300,000km the battery of the Bolt can give me 250km of range.
I rest about 15-20 minutes on the motorway, so 30 minutes for the rest and charging the battery is not a big deal for me. But if later I can have battery that can be charged in 15-20 minutes, it will be perfect.

S60 is actually good enough. After the range of 200 mi or so, it is the faster charging, not more range, that makes the real difference. Tesla should now focus on making 300kw charging a reality.

Faster charging is certainly desirable and cells with very high C rates are the key to that as well as higher voltage and power. Certain batteries are tested that can recharge in 30 seconds, so the progress margin is still very important.

But nevertheless, we will still need some higher energy content also to definitely match, and even beat, gas mobiles on range too. Matching will come at 150 KWh beating will be at 200 KWh.

Fast forward in 2050, we will have automatic under the car high voltage pantographs that will charge the car at 1500 V and 18 MW of power to charge a 150 KWh battery in 30 seconds.

First Elon says “A lower cost vehicle than the Model 3 is unlikely to be necessary,” and now he says “we will probably stop at 100 kWh on battery size.”

I really wish Elon would stop describing Tesla’s near-term plans as if they will last forever.

I rather suspect that within five years at the most, Tesla will be talking about detailed plans for an even lower cost PEV, and probably by that time they’ll already have started selling cars with battery packs larger than 100 kWh.

There is one thing that comes to my mind, given the fixed volume of the Model S battery pack, what are they going to do when better cells come along? Are they going to leave empty spots like they do now for lower energy packs? Frankly I doubt they would start to do that for their top of the line cars. Therefore the structurally fixed battery pack volume is in itself assuring further energy grow in the future. Of course they can modify that pack volume when they make a brand new car but even so, that new volume will also always have a potential for energy increase by having new better cells becoming available. Apart from leaving empty spots, the only way is up, build in through fixed pack initial volume. So, even if they wanted, they actually kind of can’t limit to 100 KWh because cell progress will keep on pushing that number.

Well said.

I think those comments above, which say that Elon only said that in the hope that it will persuade customers to buy a Model S or X now — rather than waiting for the next increase in pack capacity — are likely correct.

I agree – 100 kWh is a great point for today in the Model S/X. I still wonder what the options will be for the Model 3…. 60 / 80?

Regardless – as technology evolves — who knows what the needed battery size will be in the future. With super capacitors that charge really quickly — maybe a smaller battery / supercap combo in the future???

Until Tesla releases its truck. I’ve got a 10-bed trailer that needs an obscenely powerful diesel to pull it. I won’t be truly happy till there’s a 250kwhr electric truckbeast on the market.

100 is indeed plenty large for this vehicle.

It would be better to invest future dollars into faster charging and reducing weight.

Any future battery developments that would improve charging rate would reduce the need for more range.

I hear a lot of people saying that they want to drive 3 hours and gas up in 5 minutes repeat that, as if they can currently drive 9 hours with a total of 10 minutes of break.

I believe that if people actually experience driving for 2 hours, then charging for 10-15 minutes, they would accept it. That is 30-45 minutes of rest time in 8 hours of driving. I think that should be the target for the next battery and charger improvements.

The good news is they can put efforts into speeding up the production line and bringing the TM3 to production…

François Van Oevelen

Well my XP100D battery is nice in the summer, but in the winter one can easily loose 30% of power thanks to the cold. And over here in Belgium we do not get the cold winters like in Sweden.
Even at 0° C (32° Fahrenheit) one looses at lot of power.

So yes a 100 KWH battery is sufficient in the summer, not in the winter. There i would prefer a 130 KWH battery.