And the latest 4680 lithium-ion cells will make up the structure.

Elon Musk has confirmed today that the upcoming Tesla Model S Plaid, scheduled for late 2021, will be equipped with the all-new structural battery pack, consisting of the all-new 4680 lithium-ion cells, announced at Tesla Battery Day.

Tesla's CEO answered Whole Mars Catalog's question "will plaid s have a structural pack? I assume the extra power of the 4680 cells helps?", with a simple "Yeah."

 

That would explain why the Model S Plaid is not yet ready for the market launch. The company is waiting for the 4680 cells/structural packs to be ready, and the plan is late 2021.

This is, by the way, the same timeline as for the Tesla Cybertruck, and not far away from Tesla Semi.

The 4680 is a new type of cylindrical cells, currently under development by Tesla. It will store five times more energy, should allow to increase range by 16% (so we expect a corresponding energy density/lower losses) and offer up to six times the power output. The power output and limited overheating are one of the key factors for the high-performance Plaid car.

2020 Tesla Shareholder Meeting and Battery Day
2020 Tesla Shareholder Meeting and Battery Day

The cells will be used in a new structural battery to further lower the weight and, by the way, increase the stiffness of the car.

tesla battery analysis

Solely the new cell design and battery integration with the car allows increasing the range by up to roughly 30%, without changes in the battery chemistry.

That would explain why the Plaid's projected range is 520+ miles, compared to 402 miles (EPA) in the top of the range Model S Long Range. That's 29.3% more.

Tesla Model S Plaid
Tesla Model S Plaid