The Truth About Tesla Model 3 Batteries: Part 1

The Truth About Tesla Model 3 Batteries: Part 1

Welcome to another Two Bit da Vinci Video,
where today we are going to talk about “The Truth about Tesla’s Batteries.” Thanks to all those who voted in our last
poll, and to anyone who’s new, we hope you’ll subscribe and take part of our future polls
to see what topics we cover next. If you’re thinking about a Tesla, you’ve
undoubtedly heard about how cheap they are to fill up, how little maintenance they require,
and with recent Model 3 Production ramp ups, we’re on the verge of absolute Tesla ubiquity. But one of the questions that we believe keep
potential buyers up at night, surrounds their battery packs. So we’ve compiled a list of all the questions
we’ve received, and we’re going to break it down, step by step in this two part video
series. To understand the battery technology, its
important to think about it in these categories. First we’ll look at the raw materials required
to create lithium ion batteries. Second we’ll look at the battery cell manufacturing. In part 2, we’ll look at the complete battery
pack manufacturing, the final Car manufacturing, and end of life recycling of lithium ion batteries. The first step in this journey has to begin
with the acquisition of the raw materials that make EV’s possible. We’re often told that mining operations
for lithium and other battery materials is worse for the environment then just making
petrol cars. So is that true, are we destroying the world
by making battery packs for EVs? Let’s break this down element by element. Different car makers use different cathode
chemistries for lithium ion batteries, Tesla uses NCA chemistry, or Nickel, Cobalt, and
Aluminium (LiNiCoAlO2). They use this particular chemistry because
it offers great energy density, long cycle life, and great charge performance. This makes Tesla’s batteries the absolute
top of the line in the EV world. They weigh less, last longer, and power the
performance of things like Ludicrous mode. Most other EV manufacturers have opted to
use NMC or Nickel Manganese Cobalt, which has slightly lower energy density, but is
regarded as a safer battery. More on all of this later. Tesla’s Batteries have gone through 3 stages:
Stage 1 was from 2009-2012 found in the Roadster and Model S. Stage 2 was from 2016-2018 and
powered the Model S Gen II, and the Model X. Stage 3 starts with the Model 3 in 2018. So what’s changed, and how are they improving? Stage 1 batteries were constructed with 18650
cells, which are 18 mm wide, and 65 mm tall. They had a NCA formulation that required 11kgs
of Cobalt in the cathode, per car. They had a pure graphite anode, with no Silicon. Stage 2 batteries used the same 18650 cells,
but reduced the amount of Cobalt required in the cathode from 11 to just 7kg/car. They also introduced a small amount of silicon
into their anode. So let’s talk about anodes, where common
materials include graphite and silicon. Both Graphite, a very common stable form of
Carbon, and Silicon live on the same column of the Periodic table, giving them 4 valence
electrons. This ability to form 4 covalent bonds not
only makes Carbon the building block of all life on Earth, but also a great anode material. Silicon is very similar, but allows 10x the
energy capacity of Graphite. It’s clear that Silicon anodes are the future,
but the problem with Silicon is that, while Graphite expands about 7-10% in volume from
empty to fully charged, Silicon expands between 300-400%! This is a big problem, because while pure
Silicon anodes, could use less material, allowing for larger cathodes, and thus greater energy
density, the repeated expansion and collapse during charge/discharge cycles severely reduces
its operating life. So in Tesla’s Stage 2 batteries, they use
a hybrid Graphite/Silicon anode, with between 5-15% Silicon. Stage 3 batteries are new for Tesla, and first
shipped with the Model 3. Stage 3 batteries have further reduced the
amount of cobalt to just around 4.5kg per vehicle. They also have a hybrid silicon/graphite anode,
and while proprietary and unreported, probably higher silicon content than their stage 2
batteries. So why is lithium so popular for cathodes? Let’s look at the left-most column of the
Periodic Table. These are the alkali metals, and they all
have one valence electron. So metals here are likely to give up one electron,
which is very important in the production of electricity, and Lithium is the lightest
metal. It turns out, that Lithium is the 25th most
abundant element on earth. However, it only makes up .0007% of the Earth’s
crust. Most lithium extraction actually happens in
liquid brine pools. Water is evaporated off by the sun and the
lithium compounds can be extracted. A majority of current current lithium deposits
are in the Lithium Triangle of Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina. Australia and China are also big markets,
and their role will only increase in the future. There’s also lithium in the oceans and estimates
place it around 230 billion tonnes, but is in very low concentrations. Though there are no companies extracting Lithium
from the World’s oceans today, when demand rises or supplies dwindle to the point where
it’s profitable, you can be sure that they will. The price for Lithium is right around $7.50USD
per lb as of 2018, and looking at the past prices, you can see Lithium has been surging,
and prices in the future will hinge upon supply, as demand is just getting started. Next up is nickel which has an abundance of
0.009% in the Earth’s Crust. Nickel is widely viewed as the most important
element for EV batteries, and looking at this graph, you can see it’s the largest constituent
in Tesla Batteries by mass. It plays a pretty big role in battery packs
for other manufacturers as well, and will be a key element as worldwide EVs shipments
continue to rise. Nickel prices are around $4.00 / lb in 2018
and Canada is Tesla best bet for a pure North American supply chain. Next we have Cobalt which comprises 0.003%
of the Earth’s crust. Now this is where things get interesting,
because Cobalt is the most critical element in their battery supply chain. Cobalt is the most expensive material here,
costing just shy of $40/lb in 2018. This is due to is scarcity, but also due to
the fact that over 60% of worldwide production comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Political turmoil, child labor concerns, and
violence in this region, make Cobalt the most critical element in the supply chain, and
it’s no surprise that Tesla is reducing its reliance on Cobalt with each generation
of battery. Manganese comprises 0.11% (774) of the Earth’s
crust, making it the 12th most abundant element. You’ll notice there is no manganese in Tesla’s
batteries, while it is used on most other EVs. This is an interesting move for tesla, considering
Manganese is so cheap at only $0.93/lb in 2018, but when you factor a larger requirement
for Cobalt, in NMC batteries, its less surprising. There’s also a small amount of Aluminium
in the NCA battery, but luckily it is the 7th most abundant element on Earth by mass,
and has a very mature supply chain, due to its use in everything from cans, cars and
aircrafts. This makes Aluminium very affordable at only
$0.86/lb. So this is not a concern at all for Tesla. Now all those elements are used in the cathode,
and the story in the anode is simpler, where there’s graphite, which costs roughly $0.60
/ lbs and an average Tesla battery pack contains about 54 kg of graphite. While only 25% of graphite was used for batteries
in 2012, that number is use rise substantially. There isn’t too much concern here, especially
considering graphite can be created synthetically in the lab, and as demand soars, synthetic
graphite labs are sure to pop up. We wanted to talk about the raw materials,
because unlike other companies that are planning to sell tens of thousands of EVs each year,
Tesla is planning to sell half a million and then a million EVs each year. It’s absolutely crucial to understand supply
chain fragility when considering that lithium ion battery production is set to soar. The good news is all these materials have
been mined for decades, and most data suggests there won’t be any issues with supply limitations
for Tesla’s goals of a million cars a year. But as more manufacturers start believing
in the same vision, there’s sure to be a strain on some of the critical elements. So be sure to stay up to date with the raw
material supply chain news, because it will be absolutely critical in the next 10 years. We aren’t going to cover the environmental
impact of mining battery materials vs. petrol cars in this video, but make sure to subscribe
for a future video where we’ll do just that. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way,
let’s talk about the battery cell manufacturing. As you’ve probably heard, Tesla opened Gigafactory
1 in Sparks Nevada, and though it will only be fully completed by 2020, its pumping out
batteries, and will only increase its production rate as it nears completion. Tesla has switched from 18650 cells to 21700
cells because it’s an optimized size to maximize energy, with minimal increases in
weight, and excellent cost. Voltage is largely unchanged, since its a
function of battery chemistry. So the big question here is, why does Tesla
use these little battery cells, when they know they’ll need thousands of them? Why not not make custom big batteries, like
the ones found on a BMW i3? The i3 uses prismatic batteries, with big
custom packs. The Chevy bolt and Leaf use rectangular pouch
batteries, which you might think makes more sense since there’s less wasted space. But to understand Tesla’s choice of cylindrical
small cells, we have to consider commonality vs. customization, and design flexibility. The i3’s prismatic battery and the Bolts
pouch battery have to be specifically made for those cars. They are built to specification, much like
your smartphone. Figure out how much space you have left for
a battery, then get one custom made. In contrast, the Tesla model 3 uses a new
2170 cell which will be the battery that powers all future tesla models and even their home
energy storage solutions. Need more volts? Put cells together in series, need higher
capacity? Put those cells in parallel with other cells. In this way, Tesla can absolutely mass produce
these cells, and configure them based on car. This flexibility is why Tesla can offer a
wide variety of range options. By adding more cell blocks in parallel they
can increase range without changing the core voltage of the system. Tesla has a goal of producing batteries at
less than $100/kWh. This is very ambitious, and this small cell
philosophy, with the newly optimized 2170 cell is there recipe for success. The Gigafactory is Tesla’s greatest asset,
because by investing so heavily into a vertical integration structure, they can control costs
and production levels. In contrast General Motors, completely outsources
the battery development to LG Chem, who provide complete units ready to drop into their EVs. But if suddenly Honda and Toyota come with
contracts to LG Chem, how would that impact GM? Vertical integration for battery manufacture
is super costly, but does give Tesla a marked advantage over their competition. In fact, it might be their single biggest
advantage. One question we often get is who’s actually
making the battery, Panasonic or Tesla? The answer really is Panasonic. The gigafactory is Tesla’s vision of their
own production facility pumping out their particular batteries, and they’re able to
house Panasonic personnel in a symbiotic relationship. It takes decades to master the chemistry of
Batteries, and that’s where Panasonic comes in. The partnership is strong, and benefitting
both companies. We hope you enjoyed part one of this two part
series on the Truth Behind Tesla Model 3 Batteries. We wanted to break this up, because the story
of the raw materials, is quite literally the most important aspect of the future EV story. Without stable and reliable supply chains,
the Gigafactory would languish, and Tesla Model 3 Production would grind to a halt. We know we haven’t answered the biggest
question of how long Model 3 batteries will last, that comes next in part two of this
series. We really hope you’ll subscribe and join
the community, and vote for future videos, We’re two bit da vinci, thanks for watching.

Posts created 40981

100 thoughts on “The Truth About Tesla Model 3 Batteries: Part 1

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  2. These batteries can be recycled. Petrol and Diesel cars were around a century but on long run petrol and diesel products produce more pollution and the polluted gases cannot be recycled like li-ion batteries. Production Of hydrogen from water produce huge amount of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. So battery mining is safe, If battery mining is bad for environmen then cement production and other mayerials used in house and building are much worse. All the minerals are expiring, we humans are planet eaters, we are evil so don't believe in hell and heaven and show middle fingers to priests and religious frauds. Planetary migration is the only future of humanity, do it or die. Ones the earth is going to end like venus due to environmental factors and expansion of sun. So don't bother, develop technology rather than business.

  3. Thanks for the vid. I think Tesla will part ways with Panasonic soon and the 21700 cell will go away in favor of a new, larger cell with Maxwell dry cell technology and incorporated ultra caps, for regenerative breaking and extreme rapid charge for short trips: 20-30 mi, but will pair with the main battery pack. Anyway, good time to be an EV fan!

  4. Tesla: a) Takes money from the government. b) Takes money from investors. c) Doesn't pay its suppliers d) Its cars are still expensive. e) Loses hundreds of millions every single quarter.

  5. I'm predicting replaceable fully charged battery packs at your local small business owner, every year there comes new adoptions and features resulting in the electronics becoming obsolete at the expense of the consumers, with the batteries not capable of safely exchanged for recharged battery packs or even better if the vehicle is in an accident causing damage to the batteries possibly the batteries could be removed quick, these new EV's would automatically become obsolete collectors items not having replaceable battery packs if this was available in the public the EV's revolution will replace fuel powered engines completely, maybe there needs to be some fabrications before allowing families to trust their lives riding on batteries on the certifiable insane highway create a newer better highway.

  6. wonders what impact the Maxwell purchase will have Imagine 10% super cap/90% batt energy storage.* Heck imagine a whole frunk mod of super caps.

  7. your maths is crap kilo = 2.2 pounds so how come you have price per kilo less than price per pound

  8. Passed chemistry – flunked math $/lb, L/kg, $/kg, furlongs/forte night, divide? multiply? – oh shit! How embare assing.

  9. Those batteries are made down the road from me here in Northern Nevada. Tesla (and Panasonic) has saved our economy here so much so that when I sell my house I bought after the housing bubble bust I can buy 10 of these Tesla’s 😃

    Thank you Daddy Elon!

  10. You appear to have done your price per calculations wrong. Assuming your price per pound is correct, the price per kilo would be around 2.2 time price per pound. So if it costs 5 dollars a pound it would cost 11 dollars per kilo. Because a kilo contains 2.2 pounds. Maybe I'm wrong. But check your lides.

  11. Solid state release slated by 2024 with a car using it. Might get delayed but all of this is now useless info. Gew years iys all irrelevant.

  12. Fuck you all. Tesla is the best company in the world! Fuck your mafia. Who cares about being fast on a track. Only brutes like racing. If I ever get called a soyboy 1 more time Im gonna explode.

  13. So for material prices the ev wehicles at least their batteries will get even mroe expensive on demand so you will pay more for them ice vehicles get cheaper with time that's a big no no for com mon peoples and for common usage…

  14. Cannot trust this video, a lb is almost half a kg, why price/lb is duble??? So the other numbers should be wronge or fak.🤣🤣😲😲😲😲😲

  15. At 1:12 the question is posed of whether mining operations for battery materials are worse for the environment than burning gas in your car. Sadly, the video answers all kinds of other questions but not this one. That's a tad disappointing, and a bit of a shot in your own foot. Why pose the question if you are going to ignore it?

  16. Graphite price shown look cheap, but those batteries uses Spherical Graphite, which is more like $1.5 per pound…. The processing is all done in China, with lots and lots of acids… Pretty synthetic already.

  17. So what happens when I've been driving my Tesla for 10 or so years and the battery goes bad.
    New battery or new car?

  18. You sure the Panasonic "partnership" is strong? Apparently someone buying from them has been real slow paying for what got delivered, and word I saw was that they pulled out of China before the plant was completed…If they stop production, Tesla is dead.

  19. Panasonic have got tesla over a barrel no other producer has the quality and output they have been top of their game for years. I know for a fact that the batts can be recharged 1000X give or take for a 18650

  20. On the question of why thousands of cells rather than fewer, larger packs, I believe there are several factors you didn't mention.
    1) spreading the charge/discharge current over more cells allows Tesla to charge and discharge faster without overheating.
    2) it is harder to cool larger cells than small ones (the internal heat source is further from the external cooling system)
    3) degraded/dead cells represent much more of a range loss with fewer, larger cells

    Also, I don't believe panasonic would agree that the relationship is symbiotic or beneficial. they're apparently pretty pissed at how little they make out of the deal

  21. You got prices per kg wrong. There is 2.2 lbs in 1 kg. So the prices per kg, should be 2.2 more than prices per lbs. You got it reverse. LOL

  22. serious inventors who have worked on both electric cars and alcohol, say that electric cars still have no future, it's cheaper to burn gasoline than replace the batteries, and TESLA will fail. To really make electric cars mainstream we need revolutionary batteries, and TESLA has no such technology. The same serious inventors have perfected alcohol and run both diesel and gasoline cars, and yet to this day, still no battery beakthrough.

  23. Tesla – Using world resources, to supply expensive sports cars to virtue signalling rich people!
    Not to mention using taxpayer subsidies, that could be better utilized providing lower cost energy efficient vehicles to the mass market.

  24. Tesla/Panasonic partnership is not as strong as you point out in the puff video. Panasonic and Tesla need each other, but also have to build external business relationships in the EV space if they're to survive and become profitable. It's well known Japanese executives from Panasonic have doubts over Musk and his leadership style and reliability.

  25. I just learnt nothing. Thank you sir. Judge Judy would say it was a whole lot of who shot john. So the conclusion or part conclusion was?

  26. I'm glad to see you give Panasonic credit in the end, but all throughout you keep saying Tesla's batteries and Tesla's use of this or that technology.. still kinda subversive. Should've said so in the introduction..

  27. The conversion of cost per pound to cost per kg is wrong. Kg is heavier than a pound by 2.2 times, so the cost per kg has to be greater than the cost per pound.

  28. You didn’t mention that within the next 5 years we will see the rise of solid state batteries – Tesla are working on their own battery tech as are many other automakers- that don’t use any of the scarce resources used in lithium ion batteries

  29. You say they're using small batteries for the flexibility. I'd say the localization of failures and the ease of instrumentation and heating or cooling are at least as important.

  30. Well thank you for an informative video any profit I create over the next 10 years I will buy realestate so I can sell it and buy a ship to mine lithium beneath the ocean .

  31. Right. 2 mins in and you're already talking complete bollocks. These batteries are not 'Tesla's', they are made by Panasonic, which in my little bit of the world, the one not covered by the cult of Electric Jesus and Latter Say Saints of Silicon Valley, means that the batteries are Panasonic's. In addition, the subsequent hair-splitting BS aside, these are lithium-ion batteries, and as such are limited by the laws of physics to being pretty crap, at least as far as charging and propelling a car. I'm writing this on a Mac that has had to have it's wank battery pack replaced after 1 year of very, very limited battery-only usage. We all know that this technology is garbage, the charge on my 3 year old iPhone lasts less than half day, but somehow Tesla has managed find its very own almost perpetual motion machine. It beggars belief that sane people would rather dismiss the realities of their everyday lives, in preference to marketing hype crap like this nonsense.

  32. The absolute stupidity that comes with the notion that battery power is environmentally friendly is not only on account of their way of being produced but also on the way they are being charged AND recycled. To charge your “environmentally friendly car” you use a power grid that is made up, at least by 80+% of the demonized fossil fuels.

    Moreover, when it’s time for recycling these batteries it’s so energy intensive that you might want to rethink using them in the first place. Not to mention that many batteries don’t even make it to their full life specifications and die much earlier (due to failure, wrong use and charging, etc) hence impacting the environment without even getting used.

    At this time only about 0.2% of passenger vehicles being produced annually, are electric.

    The hype is not that prevalent as one would think. Media and governments are pushing a political agenda just to impose trillions of taxes.

    They are not battling each other as they should (good ethical journalism doesn’t align itself with governments, it exposes them). Think about the future energy needs if the whole fleet of about 1 billion cars was to be replaced by electric ones when, for just 100km traveled, an electric medium sized car uses almost as much energy as the median household uses in ONE DAY! (About 15-20 kWhs).

    They are nice and fast (I got an electric bike because I like technology – not because I think I’m saving the world) but they are not environmentally friendly by any means. Use them and buy them if you so like but the problems of the future, I trust, they are going to be solved by more technology, not professional environmentalism.

  33. Awesome content. Well structured and understandably presented. There are some setbacks like the weight swap and some forgotten letters here and there, but this can be fixed with some reviewing. I see great potential in this channel. Keep it up.

  34. NOTHING is more boring than the same voice, reading prepared script, in a monotone voice, at a galloping pace. Even though the subject interests me, I'd rather listen to bees droning than this monotonous crap. God! I hope you don't have a lecturing job! Poor students!

  35. You seem less trustworthy solely for the obvious miscalculations. 1lb ~ 1/2kg not 2 Kg as you are using in the calculations. Good video thanks!

  36. What would be the by product of these batteries? Would it affect the environment? Thanks! Hey TESLA dress the world with cars for the people! It does not need to have 500HP.

  37. This is such a Tesla fanboy production. Tesla's relationship with Panasonic is somehow so superior to GM's relationship with LG Chem. Why? You think GM really doesn't now how to manage the relationship with a Tier 1 supplier?

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