Watch Tesla's 4680-Type Cylindrical Battery Cell Teardown

Here is a very interesting video of a Tesla 4680-type cylindrical battery cell teardown, presented by The Limiting Factor, in partnership with a team from UC San Diego.

As we know, the 4680-type (46 mm in diameter and 80 mm tall) is the latest and the biggest cylindrical cell for Tesla EVs (see more about Tesla batteries here), currently used in the Made-in-Texas (MIT) Tesla Model Y.

According to the video, this particular cell comes from Tesla’s Kato Road pilot facility in Fremont, California.

The video is essentially four hours of work in the lab, compressed to about one hour (see timestamps down below). A second part is expected to be released in the near term with the data/characterization).

The opening of the steel case happened to be quite difficult. The case appears to be some kind of stainless steel and surprisingly thick – potentially because the cells are envisioned for structural battery packs (glued together and ready to carry external forces).

On the bottom, there is a copper “flower”, connected to the anode in a tabless design. The bottom metal part is electrically isolated, but the side case is not. Similarly, on the top, there is an aluminum “flower” for the cathode (electrically connected to the top center part).

To better understand what is the tabless design, it’s worth checking out the EEVblog‘s video from 2020 (3:48 – 14:00), which explains the difference and explains how the “flower” or “shingle spiral approach” works. EEVblog notes how it reduces the length of the electrical circuit, which means lower resistance and higher power capability.

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