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Tesla unveils battery cells aimed at raising electric cars’ range and power

Tesla CEO Elon Musk says company will likely have $25K electric car by 2023

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, right, and senior vice president Drew Baglino discuss the new 4680 battery during Tesla's "battery day" event Tuesday. (Photo: Tesla)

Tesla on Tuesday unveiled new battery cells that will add energy, range and power to the company’s electric vehicles.

CEO Elon Musk said during Tesla’s annual shareholders meeting and battery day event in Fremont, California, the new battery will also help reduce production costs and allow the company to sell electric vehicles for around $25,000, the same price range as gasoline-powered cars.

“We’re confident that in the long term, we can design and manufacture a compelling $25,000 electric vehicle,” Musk said. “This has always been a dream from the beginning of the company. Soon, about three years from now, we’re confident we can make a very, very compelling $25,000 electric vehicle, that’s also fully autonomous.”

The meeting and battery day event were livestreamed on the company’s website.

Tesla’s new battery cell, the 4680, will offer six times the power of Tesla’s previous cells and five times the energy capacity, said Drew Baglino, Tesla’s senior vice president of powertrain and energy engineering.

Tesla will produce its new 4680 battery in-house at its battery factory in Fremont.

“I want to stress, this is not just a concept or a rendering; we are starting to ramp up manufacturing of these cells at our pilot 10-gigawatt facility just around the corner,” Baglino said during the battery day event, which was held after the shareholders meeting.

However, Musk said the new 4680 batteries are “close to working.” 

“I think it’s fair to say probably it does work, but with not a high yield,” Musk said.

Tesla has acquired a 10,000-acre lithium mining site in Nevada in order to produce the new batteries.

“There really is enough lithium in Nevada alone to electrify the entire U.S. fleet,” Baglino said. 

Tesla also unveiled its $139,000 Model S Plaid, the new highest-performance version of its flagship sedan. The electric car is going to have more than 520 miles of range, a 200 mph top speed, and 0-to-60-mph acceleration in less than two seconds.

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One Comment

  1. Paul GOVAN

    Wall St. and our media should have been awe-struck not dumb-struck by the Battery Day reveal or revelations. I am no blindly doting Tesla fanboy/groupie – but the imminent battery and production breakthroughs presented and promised at the event were mind-blowing in so many ways. Of course f any other company or research entity were promising these transformative, perfectly-timed tech-advances we’d all be right to swallow it down with a mountain of salt…but recent EV history has proven that Musk and his almost extraterrestrially talented team can be relied upon to deliver on their extraordinary promises – if not bang on time then – worst case scenario – 6-12 months later than hoped.
    Paul G

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Noi Mahoney

Noi Mahoney is a Texas-based journalist who covers cross-border trade, logistics and supply chains for FreightWaves. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in English in 1998. Mahoney has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working for newspapers in Florida, Maryland and Texas. Contact [email protected]