Our research suggests the above is true.

In a previous article (ref), we calculated and compared Tesla’s 2170-cell energy density based on the pack’s usable energy and the weight of one 2170 cell (weighed by Jack Rickard). The energy density by weight calculated at 246-250 wh/kg and 711-721 wh/liter based on volume.

We also discussed in that article how the full pack energy (usable energy) of the Tesla Model 3 battery pack has been pegged at anywhere from as high as 78.3 kWh’s (based on the initial Tesla EPA test) down to 76 kWh’s (based on when Ingineer hacked into the Model 3 computer). We based our energy density calculations of 250 wh/kg on Ingineer's 76-kWh number that he hacked from the Model 3 computer.

We were at a loss to explain why Tesla had seemingly derated the battery pack from 78.3 kWh’s to 76 kWh’s.

Now it seems we may have the answer, since Tesla just announced a firmware update to the existing LR RWD model already produced, which will raise the advertised range of the Model 3 LR RWD from 310 miles to 325 miles (ref).

The numbers seem to make sense. At 4.3 miles/kWh, those 2.3 additional kWh’s (78.3-76) are worth 10 miles. This is very close to the amount Tesla raised the range of Model 3 (325-310).

If what we are saying is true, then that means the usable energy density of Tesla’s 2170 cells is 258 wh/kg  and Tesla’s full pack energy is 78.3 kWh’s.

Are we splitting hairs amongst a bunch of squishy numbers? Absolutely. However, I think it is fair to say that Tesla has opened up another 2-3 kWh’s in the pack and the usable energy of the pack is pretty darn close to 80 kWh’s.

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