Our friend Andy Slye put together this highly informative video breaking down the details about the different batteries Tesla uses in its cars. Beginning in 2022, there are now three different variations, though there were just two not long ago. To be clear, Slye's not talking about different battery pack sizes, but rather, different chemistries and individual battery cell sizes.
Avid Tesla fans, or simply people with an obsessive "need to know," may be familiar with Tesla's different battery chemistries and sizes. However, it's not a topic that many people are familiar with, and if you're in the market for an EV, it's important to understand. Thankfully, Slye lays it all out in a way that's informative and easy to understand.
Tesla's first battery option is Nickel Cobalt Aluminum (NCA). The company started using NCA battery chemistry years ago in the form of 18650 cells, which were produced by Panasonic for the Model S and Model X. Tesla also uses cells with the same chemistry in the Model 3 and Model Y, though the size is different: 2170 cells, which are larger and more energy-dense than the 18650 cells.
Today, 2170 cells with NCA chemistry are used in all dual-motor Model 3 and Y vehicles. The current Model S and X still use NCA chemistry, though they're also still using the 18650 cells.
Fast-forward to more recently, and Tesla started using a second battery chemistry in China, which eventually made its way to the US. Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) battery cells will be used in all Tesla's single-motor rear-wheel-drive vehicles. In the US, this means only the base Model 3 uses LFP chemistry, though a new Model Y LFP variant may be on the way. We should also note that, as far as battery cell size is concerned, these are all 2170 cells.
Tesla's third battery option is the 4680 cell it raved about a few years ago at its Battery Day event. The Model Y crossovers coming out of Tesla's new Gigafactory in Austin will be fitted with 4680 Tabless battery cells. The vehicles will also be the first from Tesla to feature its structural battery pack.
Andy does a much better job explaining all the details about Tesla's batteries in the video than we can possibly do with a wall of text. Check it out and then leave us your takeaways in the comment section below.