The new structural battery pack featuring 4680 cells launched in production recently by the Tesla Model Y made at Gigafactory Texas is a big development not only for the company but also for the EV segment as a whole.
According to Tesla, this solution presents many advantages, such as a great reduction in the number of parts used in both the battery pack and the car, which allows the pack manufacturing line to be less than half the size of previous factories.
More importantly, the company said the new cells together with the structural pack are expected to increase the Model Y's range by 16 percent and decrease the overall weight of the car by 10 percent, resulting in improved acceleration and handling.
As owners of Texas-made Tesla Model Y have learned upon taking delivery of their cars, that's not exactly the case. At least not when it comes to the range, which is actually lower than on the corresponding Model Y fitted with 2170 battery cells.
Gallery: Tesla 4680 Batteries
The good news is Tesla CEO Elon Musk is aware of this and says there's plenty of room for improvement with the structural battery pack. In a reply on Twitter to a post that referenced Munro & Associates' recent removal of the 4680 structural pack as part of a Model Y teardown series of videos, Elon Musk admitted that the structural pack requires optimization.
"Structural pack is the right overall architecture from a physics standpoint, but it is still far from optimized."
Unfortunately, he didn't provide further details about the optimization work that needs to be done, but it's pretty clear that Tesla will seek to improve the structural pack going forward; after all, this is only the first production iteration of the new battery technology.
Tesla is known for its philosophy of constantly improving its products, and the structural battery pack featuring 4680-type cylindrical cells hopefully will make no exception.
In their recent video, Munro & Associates described the structural pack as "mind blowing," noting that the entire complex—battery pack with attached seats and center console—weighs just 1,198 pounds (543 kilograms).