Inside The Tesla Battery – Video


Tesla Battery

Tesla Battery (via YT/Model 3 Owners Club)

Via a relatively new You Tuber who goes by the handle of “Tesla Model 3 Owners Club,” we get this highly informative video that takes us inside the Tesla Model S battery pack. The individual cells are examined in details, as well as the cooling system that’s employed by Tesla.

The latter half of the video focuses on the Tesla gigafactory.

Video description:

“Everything you wanted to know about the innards of a Tesla battery pack. 18650 cells, pouches, the Gigafactory and my best Elon Musk impression.”

Category: Battery Tech, Tesla


24 responses to "Inside The Tesla Battery – Video"
  1. Djoni says:


  2. carcus says:

    Good video. I learned something.

  3. Trollnonymous says:

    His cat though…………

  4. Speculawyer says:

    It still seems a little crazy to me that Tesla builds its battery packs with thousands of independent little cylindrical cells. It just doesn’t seem like an efficient way to build something. But it is hard to argue with success.

    I guess they do get massive parallelism such that they get good performance for big draws and fast-charging. And the little cylindrical cells allow for space in between all the cells so they can pump liquid coolant through.

    But all those thousands of individual cells! Well, they must have robots that do all the wiring and soldering.

    1. leafowner says:

      the good thing about the many little cells if a few poop out it will not affect the overall pack that much.

    2. Rob Stark says:

      Large pouch cells have just as many individual internal parts per kWh you just don’t see them. It plays into the bias of automotive mechanical engineers that see one large part instead of many smaller parts and think manufacturing at scale must be cheaper.

      You have one large wrapper instead of many smaller ones but it is more difficult to cool because there is no space between them.

  5. kdawg says:

    Either his cat is freaking out in the background, or this guy is the best person ever at “cat game”.

    For a reference, watch this right meow.

  6. HVACman says:

    Good review of the Model S, but Mr. Model 3 appears to base his projected Model 3 battery pack configuration on a 4-year-old conference call. Essentially useless.

    Battery tech, both chemistry and architecture, has changed radically since then. The Bolt pack by LG is state-of-the-art. Landscape format folded pack cells. inter-cell passive cooling plates, connected to an actively-cooled bottom plate. This is the optimal battery pack configuration for a skateboard type vehicle architecture in a both an energy/kg and energy/liter basis. Tesla’s Model S cylindrical cell with the “snake” thermal heating/cooling TMS is very, very 2012. Volumetricly inefficient, heavy, and thermally ineffective relative to the plate concept. Plus the fabrication labor is a lot higher.

    My instinct is the Model 3 will use a pack concept similar to the Bolt. landscape rectangular cells. bottom plate active cooling. If they stick with cylindrical, they will have to have some type of extruded aluminum separator system to conduct cell heat to the bottom plate. It’s do-able, but would cost a lot more than rectangular and take up more volume.

    1. agzand says:

      I am not sure. Model 3 is pretty low. Bolt pack is taller and may not fit underneath Model 3.

    2. koz says:

      Tesla has been very open about their plans for the Model 3 cells, the cells produced at the Gigafactory. They will by cylindrical and about 20% larger than the cells they have been using.

      1. Specifically, the Tesla Model 3 cells will be 20700, slightly bigger than the 18650s used on all other Tesla powered vehicles.

        They will also be in modules, instead of one large pack.

        1. turbonium959 says:

          Model S has its 18650 cells built into 16 modules. Those 16 modules make up the huge battery (or pack). Model 3 will most likely be made in the same fashion. Why redesign your module assembly method if you already have a proven one?

    3. ggpa says:

      “The Bolt pack by LG is state-of-the-art”

      Really? By what metric is this superior to the Tesla battery packs?

    4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      HVACman said:

      “The Bolt pack by LG is state-of-the-art… Tesla’s Model S cylindrical cell with the ‘snake’ thermal heating/cooling TMS is very, very 2012.”

      Actions speak louder than words. And by their actions, neither GM nor Tesla agree with your assessment. Tesla is sticking with cylindrical cells (albeit a bit larger ones) to be made in its Gigafactory. And for the Volt 2.0, GM added a glycol/water cooling loop, making the Volt’s battery TMS system more like Tesla’s.

      “[Tesla’s system is] Volumetricly inefficient, heavy, and thermally ineffective relative to the plate concept.”

      Tesla’s system, depending as much as possible on circulating a water/glycol mix as a heat sink, requires only running a water pump. That’s far more energy-efficient than continuously running an air conditioner compressor to keep the batteries cool.

    5. Speculawyer says:

      Can the Bolt pack charge at 100KW? I suspect not.

    6. Jake Brake says:

      The bolt pack is decent, i wouldnt call it state of the art though.

      The pouch cell vs 18650 debate is really simple. 18650s package more volumetrically efficient but use more material and therefore cost more. Pouch cells are more efficient with material use, cost less, but are not as volumetrically efficient.

  7. AlphaEdge says:

    Nice baseball cap!

  8. William Mook says:

    How do you sell lithium to Tesla?

  9. Bill Howland says:

    Not quite “everything you’d ever want to know” – I’m curious as to what the temperature range is, and when they decide to heat and cool it.

    I’m gathering these panasonics are quite a bit different than the batteries in my Roadster.

    The Roadster’s battery efficiency would drop as the battery got dead – in other words, if it was fully charged it wouldn’t need air conditioning, but it would as it got more dead.

    I’m not conversant with the way the S and X work, and just asking people has not yielded much specificity. I do know that early S’s used incredible amounts of shore power if the battery was very cold. Not sure how this has changed over the years, if at all.

    My ELR works a third way. In comparison with my Roadster, the Roadster could be DRIVEN immediately unless undergoing very negative deg F temperatures – but couldn’t be charged at all until the cells were at least 34 deg F.

    The ELR can also be discharged at any time, but curiously will also heat the battery while driving sending either 2kw, or 4 kw in extreme cold into the battery to gradually warm it up even though the battery is allowed to discharge at any rate the driver puts it through.

    Charging is a bit more of a mystery since GM doesn’t tell you precisely whether it is heating first, then charging, etc like the Roadster did. But in cold weather it does take a lot more juice to charge it, as did the roadster.

    1. Speculawyer says:

      I suspect that the battery chemistry used for the Roadster was not ideal. Didn’t they just use off the shelf laptop batteries? The cells they use now i assume are more tuned for the automotive application.

      1. m.k says:

        Afaik Tesla used LiMnCoO2 Batterys with the Tesla Roadster, which should have more current capability than LiCoO2 Laptop ones.

  10. jstack6 says:

    The battery pack and system were designed by ACPropulsion. Their T-Zero was the basic design and parts for the Tesla Roadster. They found the 18650 was the lowest cost per kWh so that is how they designed it.

    1. SJC says:

      ACP should be given lots of credit for helping Tesla.

  11. Cerio says:

    It’s a torture listening to this with the cat crying. How could you even publich this? 🙁