This YouTube influencer points out that we should really be paying much more attention to the Tesla Model S Plaid's battery pack, which he says is packed with "engineering magic" that most people are simply unaware of. The new Model S battery features several notable improvements that haven't really received much attention.
The Model S Plaid is the quickest production car ever built, and while it's pricey, it's much less expensive than some luxury high-performance rivals, as well as supercars and hypercars that it can easily outrun. The Plaid is arguably a marvel of modern engineering since pulling off a sub-2-second zero-to-60-mph time was previously considered next to impossible, especially for a large, family-friendly four-door sedan.
Tesla's claims that the Plaid can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in as little as 1.99 seconds have been challenged thanks to the typical issues related to rollout, desirable conditions, etc. However, no matter how you look at it, a full-size production car that can accelerate to 60 mph in anywhere close to 2 seconds is a feat to be reckoned with.
That said, Tesla steered much attention toward the new Model S' motors and tri-motor powertrain when it revealed the updated electric sedan. While the Plaid's battery pack was only mentioned in passing, its redesign is arguably more compelling than the car's other improvements.
Perhaps Tesla didn't spend much time talking about the Plaid's battery pack since it doesn't feature the upcoming 4680 cells or the planned "structural battery pack." In fact, the new Model S doesn't even use Tesla's more recent 2170 cells, which are found in many Model 3 and Model Y vehicles, but rather, the older 18650s that are present in the previous-gen Model S and Model X.
At any rate, Cleanerwatt dives into the details surrounding the Model S Plaid battery pack, which is actually more energy-dense than the 2022 Model Y, despite the fact that the larger 2170 cells have 50% more energy per unit. Moreover, the Plaid's battery is significantly more energy-dense than the outgoing Model S. Packing so much power into the Plaid's battery pack raises safety concerns related to the increased energy in such a small space, so Tesla had to go to great lengths to assure it was safe.
It seems one step Tesla took – which was revealed in a video discovered by our own Mark Kane (linked below) – was reducing the number of modules in the updated battery pack from 16 to just five. This means the pack in the new Model S is lighter than the outgoing model while being more energy-dense.
Cleanerwatt also believes Tesla was able to make its 18650 cells more energy-dense, much like it did with the 2170 cells. He suggests that the automaker added more Silicon, which coincides with the 4680 cell plans Tesla revealed during its earlier Battery Day presentation. Tesla is also using the updated Battery Management System in the Plaid that it currently uses in the Model 3 and Y.
The video goes on to explain Tesla's innovative battery thermal management system for dealing with heating and cooling. The new Model S also has a new and improved radiator and heat pump, which Musk talked about at the car's reveal.
Check out the video for all the interesting details. Then, scroll down to our comment section and share your takeaways and wisdom.