Tesla has confirmed that its new 2021 Model 3 vehicles are now equipped with a new 82 kWh battery pack — thanks to new, more energy-dense battery cells produced by Panasonic.
Earlier this year, Panasonic announced an extra $100 million investment in Gigafactory Nevada, its partnership with Tesla to produce battery cells exclusively for the electric automaker.
As part of the announcement, Panasonic said that it will increase the energy density of cells produced at Gigafactory Nevada by 5% and the total output by 10%.
Last week, we also reported that Panasonic revealed that the new battery cells they are producing for Tesla at Gigafactory Nevada are also going to enable faster charging.
We weren’t clear if they were already in Tesla vehicles, but we had our suspicions following the recent efficiency improvements resulting in longer ranges that Tesla released last month.
Now we get the first evidence that new Tesla Model 3 vehicles are equipped with the new cells.
As /r/TeslaMotors user “Corio13” explained, Tesla has sent 2021 Model 3 vehicles information to buyers in Europe ahead of time:
When shipping to Europe, Tesla already sends the papers to the customer before the car arrives, so that they can be registered beforehand and a smooth pickup is guaranteed. That is why some German owners already have registration for their cars that are due to be picked up in late November or December.
Some of these Model 3 buyers have shared the registration information that they received from Tesla and it confirms that new battery packs have a capacity of 82 kWh in the Model 3 Long Range AWD (via tff-forum):
82 kWh is consistent with a roughly 5% increase in energy density enabled by the new battery cells.
These new cells are still 2170 battery cells and not the new 4680 cells developed by Tesla and unveiled at Battery Day in September. Although, they could benefit from some chemistry improvements developed by Tesla for its new cell format.
As we previously reported, Tesla’s Model 3 2021 EPA ratings show that the new Model 3 Long Range Dual Motors AWD is getting a new record range of 353 miles on a single charge.
This is the confirmation we were looking for.
Tesla could have achieved higher efficiency with fewer batteries and achieved a longer range, but it looks like Tesla didn’t change anything and just used the higher-capacity batteries.
Now we are going to have to wait a few weeks to see how the charging capacity has changed if at all, but I am excited to find out.
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