Tesla unveiled plans Tuesday to develop a “tabless” battery that could improve an electric car’s range and power. The company will produce its new batteries in-house, which Tesla CEO Elon Musk predicts will help dramatically reduce costs and allow the company to eventually sell electric vehicles for the same price as gasoline-powered ones.
The battery is expected to lower Tesla’s cost per kilowatt-hour, the unit of energy most commonly used to measure the capacity of the battery packs in modern electric vehicles. Many experts believe that lowering these costs would allow Tesla to dramatically lower the price of its cars, thereby making them far more accessible. The news of the new battery was announced during the company’s much-hyped “Battery Day” event in Palo Alto, California.
Musk said Tesla achieved this breakthrough by removing the tab, a part of the battery that forms a connection between the cell and what it is powering. These new tabless cells, which Tesla is calling 4860 cells, will give the company’s EV batteries five times more energy capacity, make them six times more powerful, and enable a 16 percent range increase for Tesla’s vehicles. The tabless cells were among the first announcements from Tesla’s Battery Day.