Outsiders might not know that electric cars still have lowly 12-volt (usual lead-acid) batteries on board to power the vehicle's 12-volt systems, but they do and Musk wants that to change with the introduction of the Tesla Model Y.
"The Model Y will be on a different platform than the Model 3. Musk said that the car will be quite different, inside, in part because Tesla is learning how to make cars more efficiently. “The wiring harness on Model S is about 3 kilometers in length,” he said. “The wire harness on Model 3 is 1.5 kilometers in length. The wiring harness on Model Y will be 100 meters. And that’s a redundant wiring harness.”
It wasn't immediately clear how Tesla would go about reducing the wiring harness so substantially, but now we've learned the removal of the 12-volt battery and its related systems is the key.
Tesla Model Y Render via Remco Meulendijk at RM CarDesign
As EV Obsession reports:
“Musk now says the Model Y will do away with the conventional 12 volt electrical system. Higher voltages require thinner wires,” Steve Hanley of Gas2 writes. “The Model 3 is said to use far less wiring than other cars. One of the reasons it will have only one visual display is to make manufacturing easier and further reduce the amount of wiring used in the car. Musk hasn’t said what the new electrical system will be, but 48 volt systems are being promoted by a number of automotive suppliers.”
The idea is that the new electrical systems will be powered directly by the vehicle's main lithium-ion battery. Those various components will have to be completely redesigned to operate at different voltages. If Tesla can pull this off, it will indeed be a breakthrough. The vehicle will be easier to manufacture, cost less and be far lighter due to the reduction in amount of wiring.
The Model Y is likely to arrive “sometime in 2020” or “aspirationally” in late 2019. If Tesla can manage this, then Musk says Tesla sales could get to a million units a year. “Maybe more."
Source: EV Obsession