Longer Range 100 kWH Battery (P100D) Coming Soon For Tesla Model S/X – Hacker

MAR 7 2016 BY MARK KANE 104

Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S

Tesla Motors next step for the battery capacity size in its premium offerings could be 100 kWh – or P100D for the Model S and Model X.

It’s not official yet, but hacker Jason Hughes found and decoded the sign “P100D” in Tesla 7.1 firmware. It means that Tesla secured the number for future battery pack, which could be introduced at some point in the near future.

The story was revealed by Teslarati:

“By analyzing a series of alphanumeric characters found embedded within Tesla’s most recent firmware 7.1, Hughes was able to find a cryptographic message that would ultimately reveal that Tesla had a “P100D” in mind.”

“The community at TMC (Tesla Motors Club – in this thread from February 28th) quickly went to work to decrypt Hughes message. LuckyLuke of The Netherlands validated the SHA-256 encrypted message as reading “P100D”.”

Hughes said to Teslarati that you can find “90” in the firmware versions released prior to the 90 kWh battery introduction.

“there have been configuration options in the firmware as early as about two months ago. With the latest 2.13.77 update [Tesla] included the badges for the P100D, among other things. I’m very confident that it’s a real thing based on what I’ve seen of other things in previous versions of the firmware. For example, the ’90’ was in the firmware for some time prior to release looking at historic versions of the firmware acquired from other salvage [center displays]”

Well this method seems to be a great method to find out Tesla plans, but there is one minor problem. The other day Tesla notice the “P100D” tweet from Jason, and now all the signs in future software will be buried deeper into the code – so as no to steal from the Elon show.

Tesla Model S and X comparison for U.S. (February 8, 2016) - some data estimated

Current Tesla Model S and X Trim Level Comparisons For The U.S. – some data estimated (click to enlarge)

One assumes that the 100 kWh option (and corresponding all-electric ranges north of 300 miles in some cases) is seen as a necessary move for Tesla ahead of Model 3 deliveries in late 2017. The Model 3 will be priced from $35,000 and will debut in Los Angeles March 31st. Recently, Tesla discontinued the 85 kWh versions of the Model S/X, now offering the EVs in just the base 70 kWh version and the 90 kWh version.

The 100 kWh/300 mile option on the premium/higher margin Model S and X certainly makes for a much easier ‘up-sell’ story to customers from the ~200 mile Model 3.

Although the news that 100 kWh vehicles are likely coming soon from Tesla might not sit well with everyone. Recent Model X owners, some of whom have patiently waited years to receive their 90 kWh SUVs, might be left feeling a little bit of buyer’s remorse on the news.

Tesla response to the event overall? In a Tesla Motors Club thread (which one can read here), Jason explains there was some attempt by Tesla to reverse his car’s pending software update.

“Looks like I’ve definitely pissed off someone at Tesla now. They used some method I was unaware of in another process to go in and delete the pending 2.13.77 update from my car.

(code dump)

Basically they sent the car some command that told it to restart the updater, then the updater restarted and queried the firmware server, which, to its surprise, no longer had an update for me.”

Naturally, this sort of software action is looked at as more of a challenge than an obstacle.

“Fortunately I backed up the entire flash last night, so, I’ll be going through and manually applying an update to my car for the first time later on if they don’t undo this, since my car still has the charging bug and I was planning to install this tonight.

As a result, the Tesla CEO even returned a tweet saying he wasn’t responsible for any actions against Mr. Hughes, paying the hacker a compliment at the same time. We also note at the same time that Musk chose to not cast any doubt on the conclusions that a 100 kWh Tesla was forthcoming:

source: Teslarati

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104 Comments on "Longer Range 100 kWH Battery (P100D) Coming Soon For Tesla Model S/X – Hacker"

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“For example, the ’90’ was in the firmware for some time prior to release”

How much time was that?

Booh 🙁 i hoped for 110-120 kWh version soon.

I thought the next one would be 95 kWh, given that it took some time for them to go from 85 to 90.

Lots of people just assume that with every increase in energy density, they will increase the packs energy by the same amount, but thats not the best way to go.

Tesla has a monopoly on big luxury EVs and they could stay with 85 as long as they want, increasing the density would mean they could use less cells, which makes the car cheaper and lighter, both good things. Of course it makes sense to also increase the energy of the pack, to gain more market share. But you dont want to give the sensation that old customers were getting screwed.

So its really a trade off and the wisest decision would be to increase the kWh slowly but steadily while also reducing the amount of cells.

plus you slowly appeal to “range anxiety” people more and more with each bump in capacity.

Thats what I meant by increasing the market share, although I think that the biggest advancements, against range anxiety, would be:
1.creating a denser fast charging network
2. decreasing charging times
3. increasing range
in that order, at least for Tesla.
A 400 mile Ev, with no fast chargers, makes less sense, than a 200 mile Ev, that can do a 5 minute recharge everywhere you’d want to go.

Actually a higher capacity EV will charge faster, as long as you’re talking about miles of range and not percentage of pack. For example, consider a S60 and a S90, both at 20 miles of rated range. The S90 will supercharge to 200 miles of rated range considerably faster than the S60 will.

Thats of course, partly, true. But only if you have the charging power. At a home outlet, the 70 will charge faster to 200 miles than the 90…

That doesn’t seem right. I believe EPA’s EV mileage ratings are plug-to-wheels assuming household charging, so exactly this case. EPA lists the 70D and the 90D as near enough to identical in their mileage ratings — one’s a little better at city, one’s a little better at highway, but the differences are minor.

If you’re OK with calling the mileage ratings the same, then the rest of the logic goes: that means the cars require the same number of kWh to go 200 miles. Since neither car has to limit current (since charging off low-current source) both can be expected to draw the same amount of power from the wall while charging. Same number of kW in, same number of kWh required, solve for hours… same number of hours to get to 200 miles.

That’s false.

A larger pack will charge faster than a smaller pack. As the battery gets near capacity, it slows down to a trickle charge. Thus 90kw battery will charge to a 200mile range faster than a 60kw battery. This is true for any level charger.

“….A 400 mile Ev, with no fast chargers, makes less sense, than a 200 mile Ev, that can do a 5 minute recharge everywhere you’d want to go….”.

Assuming a typical BOLT, 200 miles, 60 kwh; that would mean, assuming 100% charging efficiency you’d be talking about a 720 kw charging rate. Practically with the current state of the art, you’d have to have about 1,000 kw drawn from a source.

I’m sorry, but I don’t see this happening anytime soon. Not at the price I’d have to pay for the service.

Unless of course it was mandated by the government and the cost was no object.

But practically, there would have to be an overwhelming interest in EV’s to have this happen, which won’t happen where I live since in my area EV’s are ONLY advertised when gas prices are high. Which is NOT now.

The head of BP just said there is a possibility that every storage tank and every swimming pool (!!!! – his words) will be filled to the brim with gasoline this summer – in other words the worst glut ever.

I think TEsla wants to release these incremental battery upgrades to match reductions in battery costs….offer more product for roughly the same price as the older ones. Until a full redesign takes place, we get these incremental boosts.

You have the wrong perspective on battery costs.
Why does the piece per kWh go down? One reason would be, because there is more energy stored in one cell, that costs as much as the last one. And thats the only plausible reason to increase the battery packs energy. Every other reason should just be used to make the car cheaper.
A valid solution to increased energy density could also be using less cells until there is competition that has more range. Then you can just increase the number of cells back to what it was with the old pack and increase the kWh without any increase in energy density.
That way you can keep your cards close to your chest and better react to the competition.

I think it’s quite clear, by their actions, that Tesla has no intention of merely reacting to the would-be competition. Their strategy is to stay well ahead in EV tech, so they don’t really have any competition. (They might have some when the Bolt comes out, but not yet.) One way of staying well ahead of the pack is by continuing to increase the range.

The rule of thumb for gasmobile makers is to choose a gas tank size which will give their cars a minimum of 300 miles of range. I see no reason for Tesla to stop increasing the range of their cars until they at least reach parity with that range. Anything less leaves BEVs less than fully competitive with gasmobiles.

Until now they had no real competition, so its hard to say if they are holding back.
Of course they will want to increase their customer base by increasing the range, but decreasing production costs is also a valid option, if just to make Tesla more profitable, or else make the car more affordable.

Well said, thanks.

I’ve been surprised at Tesla’s strategy of regularly upgrading the Model S without increasing the price. Given Tesla’s continuing struggles with its cash flow, and its repeated failures to meet its guidance of being cash flow positive (or “profitable”, as the financial guys put it), I had expected Tesla to use at least part of its benefit from gradually decreasing production costs to improve the company’s profit margin.

Of course I don’t have any particular insight into Tesla’s corporate strategy, but looking in from the outside, it appears to me that their strategy is to keep increasing demand as much as possible by regularly upgrading their cars without increasing the price, and to attract a lot of free advertising from the media by doing so.

Apparently that’s much more important to Tesla than the fact that, year after year, they keep missing the mark on being cash flow positive.

And that again could all be reasons why they are holding back, because it would make the car more profitable, it already is, but Tesla isn’t. And they can introduce lots of baby steps, instead of huge leaps, which all get media coverage. If they could, for example, upgrade straight to 120kW, it would be a better choice to do it in 3 consecutive years and get three times the media coverage, while the car is more profitable for 2 years than it would be otherwise.

They are not missing the mark. They have stated numerous of times that they don’t expect to be profitable until 2020. That’s still 4 years away. There is some hope to achieve profitability thus year which would be beating the mark by 4 years.


Tesla needs to continuously raise the bar or otherwise people will say the technology (or Tesla) has reached it’s limits. Also, making improvements gives Tesla some nice press coverage.

But continuously doesn’t mean as much as possible, just small steps at a time. Going from 90 to 120 in one step gets you less coverage, than in 3 consecutive ones.

Here’s an interesting way of thinking about it:

Due to Tesla’s over the air updates there is not much Tesla can do to convince owners to buy a “new Model”. Increasing the battery pack size every so often is Tesla’s most effective way of compelling current Model owners to upgrade.

100Kwh ? 🙂 … Elon is about 10% of the way to the required 1.21Gig Watts needed for time travel. !!. I think the Model S is a good upgrade to the DeLorian LOL !.

This comment is kindof comical seeing how the LEAF raised capacity from 24 kWh to 30 kWh just this year. And the Volt went from 16 kWh to 18.4 kWh this year.

And most people on here are chomping at the bit to see the 60 kWh Bolt, LEAF 2.0, and Model 3 (roughly this pack size) finally hit the market.

P.S. Google doesn’t even know the difference between the Volt and Bolt when searching for battery sizes. If Google is confusing the names, good luck with uninformed customers and dealer sales teams.

its easier to increase from crappy density, IIRC Tesla’s pack is at same level as LEAF’s cells

The increase as a % of total range is similar though.

The kWh difference is larger, but they can all make the statement “15% higher range” or whatever.

Going from 50 miles per charge to 56 feels like a lot. Going from 260 to 266 miles per charge would seem moot.

The range increase on the LEAF wasn’t without cost. You now pay between $1600 and $2100 more for the 2016 with a 30kWh pack compared to the 2015 with a 24kWh pack.

The challenge is finding a balance between improving range and lowering cost. The problem is that nearly every upgrade in range on BEVs has come with a price increase as well.

The fact Elon actually tweeted back to this Hughes guy gives me enough reason to believe this rumor is real.

Not surprising at all a P100D is on the way. I was wondering when Tesla would hit triple digits in battery size.

What about a 100D ? No P.

Battery pack upgrades first appear in the highest trim level version, the “P” Performance trim, then later trickle down to the lower trim versions. At least it was that way for the 90 kWh vs 85 kWh version, and I presume Tesla will follow that pattern for the 100 kWh version, for the Models S and X.

Hmm, where will they put all those batteries? Last time they did the upgrade from 85 to 90kwh, it’s most likely that they started using the relatively new 3,400 mAh cells from Panasonic instead of the 3,100 mAh cells. I read an article on either this site or another that this Jason Hughes also pulled apart the 60kwh and 85kwh battery packs and the real size came to 61kwh and only 81kwh. That is why with a 10% increase in energy density of the newly used cells, they can claim that the new packs are at 70kwh and 90kwh (in reality closer to 67kwh and 89kwh). So back to my original comment, where will they get the extra 10kwh as there is nothing better than 3,400 mAh batteries on the market, the only thing I can think of is that Tesla/Panasonic will start using their bigger (gigafactory made) batteries and that is where the increase will come from…

PErhaps Tesla has found ways to reduce the space the battery cooling system components take up to cram an extra 10 kWh into the existing space. Though I’m not sure how their cooling system is setup.

Are you from Tesla?

I could be wrong, but I thought the next step for Panasonic was 4,000 mAh cells.

With the form factor change on the Gigafactory cells (taller, fatter), Tesla will actually be able to squeeze more kWh out of the same square inch area. But the seating position will go up 6.5 mm (18650 – 65mm height * 10%) given the same ground clearance.

Presumably the Model X was engineered to use the taller cells, when they become available. But how will Tesla fit those into Model S packs? Will they decrease the ground clearance, or redesign the lower part of the car to raise the floor?

My guess is they’ll merely adjust the height of the adjustable shocks, leaving the ground clearance the same without having to redesign the entire car.

Another solution might be to lay the cells flat inside the battery pack, instead of upright. But I’m not at all sure that would work; there might not be enough space.

I guess Tesla and Panasonic came to a point in their relationship, where Tesla might be able to purchase their new cells a bit earlier than flashlight enthusiasts, or at least get noticed a bit earlier.
And we know that those two are developing a new cell for the GF, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that, as the GF starts producing cells now, there might be a new one to be had, for the Model S/X.

Boris said:

“I read an article on either this site or another that this Jason Hughes also pulled apart the 60kwh and 85kwh battery packs and the real size came to 61kwh and only 81kwh. That is why with a 10% increase in energy density of the newly used cells, they can claim that the new packs are at 70kwh and 90kwh (in reality closer to 67kwh and 89kwh).

I can’t imagine any good reason to believe this is true. If nothing else, I think it would constitute fraud on the part of Tesla.

This is a perfect example of why you should not believe everything you read… especially everything you read on the Internet!

Why would Tesla lie about pack sizes? I don’t believe there is any “fraud” in the physical capacity of the pack. It is possible, however, that Tesla has limited the max. charge in software to less than this, perhaps using ~90% of the max. 90kWh, to increase the longevity of the batteries. (Excessive wear happens at the extremes near 100% and 0%). Tesla also limits other things in software, like the top speed of the cars, to avoid heat damage and possible failures.

I read about the first 6 pages of discussion on this issue on the Tesla Motors Club discussion thread, here: http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/61896-Tesla-s-85-kWh-rating-needs-an-asterisk-%28up-to-81-kWh-with-up-to-77-kWh-usable%29 This is a complex technical issue, one which can’t be properly summarized in 25 words or less. But let me use an analogy: This is like the furor over discovering that the way auto reviewers were measuring a car’s 0-60 time ignores an initial 1-foot “rollout” before the timing is started. Apparently all the “official” 0-60 times include that rollout, so all of them are about 0.1 seconds lower than they ought to be. But do we care? The 0-60 times are used for comparison purposes, so nobody except a drag racer should care that the actual time differs slightly. What this technical guy, known as “wk057” on the Tesla Motors Club forum, said when he started the TMC discussion thread, was basically this (paraphrasing): ~”I measured some cells from a Model S85D, and did the math, and it doesn’t really have an 85 kWh battery pack; it’s only 81.1 kWh.”~ The problem is, he left out a key phrase there. What he should have said is ~”I measured some cells in a Model S85D, and did the math,… Read more »

It’s not just someone on the internet who mentions this, it’s the same hacker who discovered the P100D thing – Jason Hughes. So I guess he should have some credibility and btw, here is the link – http://electrek.co/2016/02/03/tesla-battery-tear-down-85-kwh/

People on InsideEVs keep talking about energy density increases every other day as if Tesla has some magic, it does not. It used the 3,100 mAh Panasonic cell for a while and uses the 3,400 mAh cell. There have been rumors about 4,000 mAh cell for years now, but not LG, Samsung or Panasonic is offering it. So 3,400 mAh is as good as it gets, it launched in 2013 and Tesla put it in its cars just recently, I guess they wanted to make sure that the technology is working properly. And one last thing, the battery pack has 7104 cells in it, so there is no way that with current technology, it can be over 89kwh, unless Tesla did magic.

Yes, I noticed it’s the same guy who posted the pictured and details about the teardown of a Model S battery pack, which I linked to in a previous post. I’m not at all questioning his ability to charge a battery or to use a volt-meter. I am questioning whether or not he knows what standards are used by battery makers to rate commercially produced batteries. He himself wonders what the Leaf batteries would test out at. The fact he doesn’t know is one indication of the limits of his knowledge of the subject. There are other indications in his posts of a lack of knowledge about the field, such as his observation that cells charged to a higher voltage may explode, or rapidly lose capacity after just a few charges. I already knew those things, just by reading about li-ion batteries. The fact he didn’t, and that he apparently isn’t aware that the cells Panasonic makes for Tesla lack certain safety features found in batteries sold to consumers — features which would help prevent the batteries from exploding when charged to a higher voltage — is to me a rather strong indication he doesn’t have sufficient expertise in the… Read more »

Boris said:

“So 3,400 mAh is as good as it gets, it launched in 2013 and Tesla put it in its cars just recently…”

Tesla doesn’t use off-the-shelf batteries; Panasonic makes batteries to Tesla’s exact specification, to order. Tesla even has patents for internal cell configurations.

So unless you work for either Panasonic or Tesla, it seems extremely unlikely that you know the exact characteristics of the cells Tesla is using now in its cars, or even the ones it has used in the past.

I’m not all that convinced that wk057 knows all the characteristics, either. He measured the voltage on a some cells from a Model S85 battery pack, and a few from a Model S60, found them to have the same voltage, and pronounced the cells as “identical”. That appears to be making a rather large number of assumptions unsupported by fact.

Yeah, keep dreaming that Tesla is using higher density cells than those that Panasonic offers as their best cells, they might be tweaked (which I still doubt), but definitely are not more energy dense. Have you not read the book about Elon, he is a great manipulator and hypes up his products like noone…

It would be a challenge for me, but what space efficiency would be gained from Tesla/Panasonic developing a large-cell format, that went into the same space? Hasn’t Volt achieved ~15% better, in its existing “T” (16, now 18.4kwh)?

I could get over a slight round-up, but hope Tesla isn’t calling 96kwh “100kwh”, in the end.

If the Volt’s battery pack is more compact per kWh, that’s probably a combination of using more tightly packed pouch cells, with no space between them, as opposed to the cylindrical cells Tesla is using, which automatically creates some open space between the cells.

The Volt 1.0 also uses a refrigeration system to cool the pack, as opposed to Tesla’s more energy-efficient, altho probably less compact, gylcol/water cooling system. It’s notable that the Volt 2.0 is equipped with both a refrigeration system and a glycol/water system for cooling the battery pack.

Bottom line: Tesla has the more advanced tech, and other auto makers are following Tesla.

There are 3 separate anti-freeze containers in my 2011 Volt.

Counting from the right-front of the car:

1). Engine/Heater
2). Battery heating/cooling.
3). Voltec and charger.

Each must be changed at 5 years/150,000 miles. My Volt predates the Model S.

Volts at 120 volt charging rates are far more efficient at charging the battery, compared to any older Tesla model. The model S, roadster, and Rav4ev were also lousy under these conditions. I can’t speak for the model X as of yet since they use a different charger, and there are no charge times listed at 120 volts on the website for the model X.

“…(Fair warning: I’m vastly oversimplifying a discussion of technical issues here.)…” . Phew – That’s a good thing. You always get this stuff mixed up.

“…The Volt 1.0 also uses a refrigeration system to cool the pack, as opposed to Tesla’s more energy-efficient, altho probably less compact, gylcol/water cooling system…”

1). Only in hot weather. In moderate weather, only a small fan and pump is used – so that is hardly less energy efficient. It uses SO LITTLE energy that some people call that ‘free cooling’.

2). Though the 2016 volt has slightly improved the efficiency over the 2011 volt (and slight is the operative word), the 2011 volt is still much more efficient under all condtions at 120 volts compared to even a current model S under identical conditions.

That “Dutch Uncle” speech you made – you should really look in the mirror regarding trying to seem ‘important’.

It really helps to be just a bit factual at times.

So now its time for a fresh round of press releases from Audi and Porsche with revised specs for their 2019 vehicle lineup.

That was good. 😀

Assuming the kerb weight of the car remains same between 60 and 70 Kwh and 85 and 100 Kwh. Also assuming that they release the 100 Kwh battery by this year. .It means they had roughly 15% improvement in the battery in past 4 years.

What does 100 kWh mean in range kilometers? The range record had been held by Model S with over 700 km/charge. Can it climbe to / over 1 000 km any soon?

I ask it, because a Chinese company Brighsun claimed the world record with 1018 km/charge, when last year their touring coach traveled some 26 hours in Victoria.

Quick math would say 100 – 85 / 85 = 17.6% more range or 700 + 700 * 17.6% = 823 km. So not even close.

All else being equal, you wold need something like a 120 kWh battery to move a Model S that far.

Txs Josh!

I presume those records are on-off achievements, enabled by all means / favourable conditions.

So they could be well above the official range.
Isn’t it strange: a coach is king in e-range? (Be it Australian or Chinese)

The record was 885km with Model S 85D

The record with Model S 85D was 550,3 miles(885km) 76,8kWh used energy or 8,68kWh/100km and 241 MPGe. Let’s make it 870km with bigger battery it will be +17,64% or 1023km.

Given Tesla is pushing so hard it is no wonder Sergio & Dieter are paying so many visits in Sun Valley, particularly to Apple. I guess they suspect Apple could be their gold ace in attempt to fend off Tesla. A wise move of Elon would be to arrange a one time a week coffee break with Apple CE, just to stay in the loop. A lot of shivering anticipating Model III unveiling March 31st. Easter wish: Apple to jump in to spur things and enable Model III rollout by December 2016.

How does Apple building an electric car help Mercedes and Fiat fend off Tesla?

And who are Sergio & Dieter?

No part of that post made any sense, at least not to me.

The CEOs of Fiat and Mercedes.

CEO of Fiat and CEO of Daimler. 😉

End of 2016 the 70 version should go up to 80, and the 90 to 100.

And to just keep everything orderly I would like to be surprised and have the Model 3 fall in line at 70 kWh.

Exactly my thinking. Tesla S and X will go to 80 and 100 kWh, and Tesla III will go to 55 and 70 kWh. With a 55 kWh but much better drag coefficient and more efficiency it’s almost logic that the low end Tesla III will have a better range than the 60 kWh Bolt.

SHA-256 you say?

$ echo -n P100D | sha256sum
5fc38436ec295b0049f186651ebba5fd55e8d7b81eb61cbd00d3f1bf18dd9c81 –

So, for future reference:

$ echo -n P110D | sha256sum
d9359b14572e781fbf7217fa3e2204a535f39e8d505768c7fdbe83ecae374719 –

$ echo -n P120D | sha256sum
36a884aa3c6778f5debc57dcbd75c5ee0130c9bbfcaa18a7c47d847c10e04cb8 –

I’m going back to oil changes.

the NEDC would be nearly 750km for the 100D. Tesla should do another NEDC test to eliminate the estimated range for the higher models

I think it’s funny that Tesla reached in and rewrote the code for his particular Tesla.

“It’s not nice to fool with Mother Tesla.”

I agree, that is almost the bigger story here.

Tesla should have the ability to keep their future business plans private, so this is wading deep into murky grey water.

Apple seems to be constantly fighting the leak battle and it looks like Tesla is getting dragged down the same road.

Wonder when someone will leave next year’s Model S at a bar 😉

..bigger because Tesla is less exposed to right to repair laws, as the OEMs who must provide franchised dealers the more exhaustive tool sets. Tesla do not make their software available to people in right to repair states. Only the common repair manual (brakes, suspension, etc.), in some states.

Jason is among a group that is reverse-engineering Tesla’s software, with some hope that an interface will become commercially available. Features like turning off traction control have been found, for the D’s. They’re also finding out that Tesla maps the torque it wants to put down, and does not always wait for traction loss before doing so. Tesla’s safety programming is crude piece of performance software.


Old news.

We already knew that Tesla want to increase battery capacity by 5% annually.

That translate into 5kWh increases quite nicely for quite a few years to come 😉

If Telsa is able to put out a 100 kWh battery using the current 18650 format…then the rumored upcoming ~26650 format (to be produced at the Nevada Tesla Gigaactory late 2016 allowing ~24% higher net pack energy density than 18650) should allow Tesla to bump up to the Holy Grail 120k.

Alternative theory: The upcoming 100 kWh will be using the new larger ~26650 format (there is speculation Gigafactory will be online ahead of schedule) and so Tesla would in that case be sandbagging by ~10kWh.

My understanding is that all the early production at GF will be for energy storage, which makes sense.

It is easier for them to adjust (delay) shipments of home storage as Tesla/Panasonic gets the new cell manufacturing kinks worked out. If Model S/X gets redesigned for the taller cells, and then the inevitable manufacturing hiccup happens, Model S/X production stops.

Wall St would flip out if Model S/X shipments stop due to early glitch in GF production.

Hope you are correct on that because that would mean 100kWh using 18650 making 120kWh within relatively easy reach when transitioned to the ~26650 format.

Side note: The 10% added 26550 cell length can likely be contained withen the size dimension of the existing Model S/X battery pack.

Josh said:

“My understanding is that all the early production at GF will be for energy storage, which makes sense.”

I think you’re confusing pack assembly with cell manufacturing. Reportedly the Gigafactory is already assembling battery packs, using cells from Panasonic. So far as I know, the pilot Gigafactory isn’t yet producing cells, or at least not in industrial quantity.

My belief, based on available evidence, is that the primary purpose of the Gigafactory is to produce battery cells at a quantity high enough and a cost low enough for Tesla to profitably make the Model ≡ in large quantities, hopefully at or near the oft-touted $35k price for the base trim level. Selling to the stationary storage market is something that Tesla is doing to make sure any of the Gigafactory’s capacity that isn’t needed for their EVs can find another market, so Tesla doesn’t wind up with a factory working at only partial capacity.

Now, I could be wrong. It’s possible that the stationary storage market could become a more important money-maker for Tesla than selling EVs.

Another added benefit of GF1 supplying for both vehicles and home energy is that it increases economies of scale.

Essentially, the Gigafactory may not have produced enough savings if it only produced the volume they needed for vehicles.

End result, produce the volume you NEED, and find a way to offload the excess.

Or it was part of their plan all along since Elon is well aware that storage is a fundamental piece of a future powered by intermittent renewables. They’d probably been discussing it for years at SolarCity and lamenting the availability of affordable storage.

You are mixing cells capacity with energy density. And in my opinion S/X probably will remain 18650 even after gigafactory, only energy and 3 would make sense to go new packs

@buu, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLWrGc7E7TU#t=25m23s Tesla Conference Call: 25:23 Journalist: On the Gigafactory, is the chemistry going to be the same battery chemistry that you’re currently using or is that part of the discussions that are going on with Panasonic? 25:34 Elon Musk: There are improvements to the chemistry, as well as improvements to the geometry of the cell. So we would expect to see an energy density improvement and of course a significant cost improvement. JB, do you want to add anything? 25:53 JB Straubel: Yeah, that’s right. The cathode and anode materials themselves are next generation. We’re seeing improvements in the maybe 10% to 15% range on the chemistry itself. 26:09 Elon Musk:Yeah, in terms of energy density. 26:09 JB Straubel: Energy density. And then we’re also customizing the cell shape and size to further improve the cost efficiency of the cell and our packaging efficiency. 26:22 Elon Musk: Right. We’ve done a lot of modeling trying to figure out what’s the optimal cell size. And it’s really not much. It’s not a lot different from where we are right now but we’re sort of in the roughly 10% more diameter, maybe 10% more height. But then the cubic function effectively… Read more »

buu said:

“…in my opinion S/X probably will remain 18650 even after gigafactory, only energy and 3 would make sense to go new packs”

If the per-kWh cost of Gigafactory cells is significantly less than Panasonic is currently charging Tesla for 18650 cells, then it seems rather foolish of Tesla to keep using the existing 18650 cells for the Model X. Given the late development of the MX, it seems to me highly probable that it was designed to allow the use of the larger Gigafactory cells when they become available. Changing the Model S to accept larger cells will be more problematic, but why would Tesla not do that at some point?

CDAVIS said:

“Alternative theory: The upcoming 100 kWh will be using the new larger ~26650 format (there is speculation Gigafactory will be online ahead of schedule) and so Tesla would in that case be sandbagging by ~10kWh.”

You’re assuming that the larger cells can fit just as compactly inside the same battery pack case, which is almost certainly wrong. The geometry for larger cells will have to be changed.

One problem is that at least in the Model S, the cells are oriented vertically inside the battery case. If the Gigafactory cells are taller, as seems indicated by the description of a 10% increase in size in each dimension, then they won’t fit into the same case… unless Tesla changes the orientation and lays them flat.

But let’s assume everything you say is true. Using the term “sandbagging” here seems inappropriate. There would be nothing at all negative about the idea of Tesla choosing not to stuff as many battery cells into its packs as it possibly can. Their cars already have a range far in excess of any other production BEV, so quite possibly Tesla would rather choose to spend its money on other upgrades to their cars.

Height wise, the 10% added 26550 cell length can likely be contained within the size dimension of the existing Model S/X battery pack by shortening (height wise) the various housing components the individual battery modules containing the battery cells. Width (cell diameter) wise, there simply would be less cells used but resultimg in a net increase kWh.

With regards to my use of the term “sandbagging” maybe I should have used a better word. It was not meant to be derogatory towards Tesla; it was meant to convey that Tesla would likely be intentionally holding back (perhaps software/programmatically like it did for its 40kWh battery) the maximum kWh available… for whatever reason Tesla may have (.i.e. timing marketing wise).

“…the 10% added 26550 cell length can likely be contained within the size dimension of the existing Model S/X battery pack by shortening (height wise) the various housing components the individual battery modules containing the battery cells.” Based on actual photos of a Model S battery pack being disassembled, I don’t see where much reduction of “housing components” is possible. It’s already about as flat as it can be with the cells oriented vertically, isn’t it? See photos in discussion thread here: http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/34934-Pics-Info-Inside-the-battery-pack I also question that the height increase will be exactly 10%. An increase of 10% in all three dimensions would be 1.1 x 1.1 x 1.1 = 1.331, or 33% increase in volume over the 18650 cells. But Tesla spokesmen have also said the larger Gigafactory cells will be about 50% larger, so it looks like that 10% figure is only an approximation. As I said: If Gigafactory cells are going to be used in the Model S, then either the height of the pack will have to be increased, or the cells will have to be laid flat. (Not a fact, but an assertion based on available evidence.) I have no particular reason to think laying… Read more »

@Pushmi said: “…I also question that the height increase will be exactly 10%…”

Lol… I though I had covered myself by the use of “~” in my original comment.

Regarding fitting ~+10% cell length into the existing Model S/X battery form-factor (while keeping the existing vertical cell orientation), that translates to ~0.25 inch on each side of the module housing…looks very doable to me from your referenced pack photos.


“@Pushmi said: ‘…I also question that the height increase will be exactly 10%…’

“Lol… I though I had covered myself by the use of ‘~’ in my original comment.”

Fair cop; mea culpa.

But the “10% bigger in all dimensions” quote or paraphrase has been cited often enough that I think most people think of it as an exact figure, not an approximation. Glad to see you’re not “most people”. 🙂

On the Tesla forums there is speculation (mainly wishful thinking) that Model X’s already ship with the newer battery. The reasons are sketchy, but include the desire to avoid cannibalizing MS sales during testing, desire to test in real world usage, etc. An eleven percent boost for the MX would be nothing to sneeze at. A secondary market for Tesla batteries, perhaps in Powerwall units, would reduce the upgrade cost should a physical swap be necessary.

10kWh increments seem like useful gains (translating into ~30 mile gains each time), but the key isn’t the ability to put them into the car, but making sure the BOM for the car stays steady, and aligns with Tesla’s goal of 30% gross margins for the S and X in the long term.

As the price of cells goes down, Tesla can add more to the car (volume limitations excepting) without impacting the price. But as the price goes from $200/kWh now to $100/kWh in the early 2020s, I don’t think Tesla will double the pack capacity, but will use the decrease in costs to increase the GM and allow them to spend that money elsewhere in the car.

Finally, from a capex perspective, changing your battery formulation and your assembly line equipment every year or two isn’t the most effective way to invest your money. I would expect that capital expenditures will last 3-5 years, which means that the cells that roll out in the fifth year of the manufacturing on that line wont be too different from what rolled out day one (3% annual improvement, no major step changes in chemistry or manufacturing process).

Anthony said:

“…from a capex perspective, changing your battery formulation and your assembly line equipment every year or two isn’t the most effective way to invest your money.”

Yet li-ion battery makers do exactly that. They are constantly fiddling with the chemistry and the composition and/or shape and/or arrangement of the internal components, to decrease costs and to increase energy density and/or power density and/or battery life. If they didn’t, then li-ion batteries wouldn’t keep improving year-on-year.

EV batteries are not a stable technology, any more than computer chips are. Advancement and change in both fields is much more rapid than it is in most. It’s all very well to say that making changes every year isn’t the most efficient way to run a business, but any company that doesn’t is going to lose out to the competition.

I agree they do fiddle with the chemistry, but it is reasonable to expect improvements like we saw in the Chevy Volt first generation – from 35 miles to roughly 40 miles over the course of five years. It is not reasonable to expect large step changes (above 5% compound annual improvement) every few years.

As I recall, the rule of thumb in the industry is something like 7-8% per year, both for price reduction and for energy density increase. Of course that’s an average; fiddling with the battery chemistry doesn’t result in a precise yearly improvement, and some battery makers advance faster than others. The evidence seems pretty strong that LG Chem has jumped ahead on a price reduction, but apparently not on energy density.

On the other hand, based on Jay Cole’s recent comment about how changes in currency exchange rates affect profit margins, perhaps most of LG Chem’s new lower cost for li-ion cells has more to do with the South Korean currency being devalued (as compared to the US Dollar) than anything else.

But we can point to something more definite for Tesla cars, in an recent quote from Elon Musk: “On average, we expect to increase pack capacity by roughly 5% per year.”

Terrible article – if you don’t know the technical terms stick to cut and paste of complete sentences…

Not sure what you’re complaining about. Was it this?

“Jason explains there was some attempt by Tesla to reverse engineer his car’s pending software update.”

Well, there was no “reverse engineering” involved by Tesla; the company apparently canceled his pending software upgrade, altho from the discussion it’s possible that this wasn’t a retaliation on the part of Tesla; at least Elon claimed he didn’t direct anyone to do that.

There’s another error in the article — or at least, it appears to me to be an error — but this one was made by Teslarati, not by InsideEVs’ writer Mark Kane:

“By analyzing a series of alphanumeric characters found embedded within Tesla’s most recent firmware 7.1, Hughes was able to find a cryptographic message that would ultimately reveal that Tesla had a “P100D” in mind.”

But from the discussion on the Tesla Motors Club forum, in the topic thread linked above, if I understand it correctly, the “cryptographic message” was one the hacker enciphered himself and posted to Twitter as a challenge for others to decipher… which didn’t take long!

I can understand why Tesla took a “No soup for you!” attitude toward that blogger who keeps publicly slamming Tesla, and canceled his Model X order. But canceling the latest software upgrade for this hacker’s Model S, presuming that really happened, seems petty and spiteful. This is the sort of thing that gives a company a bad image, and Tesla ought to know better.

Oops… premature posting on my part. I see over on the Tesla Motors Club forum discussion linked above, Elon responded to the hacker’s report that his pending firmware upgrade had been cancelled (by Tesla) with this tweet: “Wasn’t done at my request. Good hacking is a gift.”

In 2016 they will announce the 95kWh battery pack for the Tesla Model S and the Tesla Model X. As a range upgrade option. The 100kWh battery pack will be announced in 2017.

The information in this article suggests rather strongly that there will be no 95 kWh pack size; that Tesla will jump from 90 to 100 kWh. But no telling when that will happen; it may not be for a couple of years.

SWEET JESUS…GO TESLA GO…use improved battery technology in model 3

Soon standard 75D and 95D with option to 100D and P100D.
They need arguments to keep the average price level high.
The model 3 will have 60 and 75kW packs.

Seems uncanny that the battery keeps getting bigger on the X, yet the car charger is still only available in the 48 amp model.

Since the X is rather pricey, and Rich people don’t like to wait, and besides, if they have an “S” already their garages usually are set up for an 80 ampere charge rate, you’d think many “X” buyers would want a quicker charging option as the “S” buyers can go to 80 amps.

If posting on technical issues, please have someone review the language…
“Jason Hughes found and encoded the sign “P100D” in Tesla 7.1 firmware” should be “found and _decoded_ the string…”

“Jason explains there was some attempt by Tesla to reverse engineer his car’s pending software update”

No, you have that backwards. Hughes reverse-engineered (some of) Tesla’s SW, and, to make sure he couldn’t continue to do so, they forcibly downgraded his car’s SW to an earlier version.
Tesla would not need to reverse-engineer its own SW.

I don’t want to be the fuddy duddy, but shouldn’t Tesla be pushing itself to improve drivetrain reliability before they push against its performance ability?

Tesla can be cavalier about this as there is no competition; they have an effective monopoly in that category of auto. If there was another competing manufacturer with a parallel product, then Tesla would be knocking itself out to improve drivetrain reliability, as you correctly point out.

Drivetrain reliability? Thats old news and already improved, just like the door seals or the slow production ramp… the new issues are around paint overspray, key fobs depleting their battery when stored close to or in the car, and apparently today delivery trucks colliding as a ton of model X are being shipped out to anxiously waiting customers 🙂 Tesla as usual does care a great deal about the end-user experience and will make things right going above and beyond of what you could expect to rectify things.

As an embedded firmware developer myself, I have to laugh at this a little bit. It could mean that it’s coming, or it could mean that they felt like building a one-off for testing something and wanted to ensure that it’s distinguishable from a stock model.
For the products I develop, I put in model IDs for things I can envision having to develop a year or two down the line so that I can react a little quicker when I get the request from above to start doing it. Sometimes those even stick around after we’ve decided not to do it.