It is possible nobody got more excited about Tesla Battery Day than Sandy Munro – apart from the fans honking the Teslas in front of Elon Musk after anything he said. Munro had better reasons to be thrilled. He almost got the size of Tesla’s new cells right, and he saw Tesla promise to do something he had anticipated in 2017: mega castings. Munro was so enthusiastic he even created a model of the battery pack with 4680 cells.
To do that, he asked one of the guys at Munro & Associates to buy two-inch dowels, cut them in the right size, paint them in silver, and put them in a current empty Tesla battery pack shell. Although it was just to give us an idea of what it will probably look like, that was helpful to visualize what Musk presented at Tesla Battery Day.
Generating less heat than the current 2170 cells, the new 4680 batteries will be glued to a cooling plate, which will remove heat from the top and bottom of the cells. Those are the places that present more heat in charging and discharging. That is something Munro asked to be corrected since he first had the Tesla battery pack disassembled.
Munro also showed how close the cells would be in this new cell-to-pack arrangement. Instead of having cooling ducts placed among the cells, all they will have will be epoxy. The manufacturing simplification this represents is vast, as well as the cost-cutting, according to the engineer.
Another thing Munro presented was the first car structure with giant castings. It dates from 2017, and it is not from Tesla, but rather an idea Munro & Associates gave to dozens of engineers and companies.
Not a single one of them implemented the idea. On the other hand, Tesla liked it and made something similar, if not more sophisticated. We are yet to see it live, but the project was presented at Tesla Battery Day.
Munro and Bob Galyen said that the battery pack would probably last way more than the car itself. Still, there are some implications of making it part of the body structure that we would like to explore – especially regarding how that affects insurance. Stay with us to learn more about that soon.