Tesla has added a new, higher-capacity battery pack to the 2021 Model 3.
The Long Range All-Wheel Drive variants of Model 3 now come equipped with a 82kWh battery, as opposed to 79kWh previously — a total increase of 3kWh, or just under 4%.
More importantly, the energy density of the cells themselves has been increased to achieve this figure. This confirms that Panasonic’s $100 million investment in Gigafactory Nevada is yielding improvements, although not quite at the energy density improvement of 5% that was targeted.
Panasonic, under a partnership to exclusively provide battery cells to Tesla, plans to increase the total output of Gigafactory by 10% in the near future. Without providing specifics, it was also mentioned that the new cells have improved fast charging performance.
The increased range rating on Tesla’s 2021 Model 3 was cited as being a result of an efficiency package. Effectively, the battery itself was also updated to achieve a top range of 353 miles.
While a 3.8% increase in cell capacity may not seem like a lot, it paves the way for further improvements to continue improving battery density without changing the physical size of the pack itself. Panasonic is expected to reach an overall improvement of 10% within the next five years, in addition to Tesla’s own Battery Day announcements that will dramatically improve the cells with a new design.
It’s not yet clear if the Standard Range Plus model has also benefited from a new battery as a result of the 2021 refresh, although its range was increased by roughly 4% as well.
We expect that the improved fast charging performance will provide a longer sustained charge at Model 3’s current top charge rate of 250kW. While there are a few minor improvements with the new battery pack, we don’t expect this particular change to have a measurable impact on used values.
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