As announced at its Investor Day in early March, Tesla has released more details online of CEO Elon Musk’s master plan for transforming the global economy to sustainable energy. According to this, $10 trillion of investment will be required to achieve this goal. Tesla also believes that hydrogen infrastructure is necessary for e-fuels for long-range aircraft and for long-term energy storage, but for the rest, batteries play the most important role. The master plan also mentions battery capacities and technologies for Tesla’s electric cars, which are not yet available for purchase.
The new Tesla with a battery capacity of 53 kWh
The automotive part has a big plan – explains the company, that currently around 85 million passenger cars are produced per year and that the global fleet is around 1.4 billion vehicles. If it were all-electric today, Tesla calculates it would be 112 terawatt-hours of installed batteries, which also includes 16 terawatt-hours for buses and trucks.
As CEO Musk said, answering a question at the Investor Day, Tesla wants to limit the range of electric cars to eight to ten models. A more detailed breakdown is included in the published plan document (see image above). Above is an electric car that has yet to be named but played a major role in the event. It will be positioned below the Model 3 and Model Y and will cost 50 percent less to produce initially at the new Gigafactory in Mexico. According to current rumors out of China, it could be a scaled-down Tesla Model Y.
About the format of this electric car, only “compact” is written in the general plan. But for the first time, Tesla names a specific battery capacity and chemical composition for it: it should be equipped with a 53 kilowatt-hour LFP battery. That’s roughly in line with the net cost of the current base Model 3 and Model Y. It also already uses the relatively inexpensive LFP chemistry that Tesla introduced in late 2020 and is also attracting increasing interest from other Western manufacturers.
LFP for larger model 3 and model Y
In fact, Tesla has even more plans for the LFP, with the Model 3 and Model Y being defined as the next-highest “midsize” category above the unnamed compact electric car. Here, the company mentions a capacity of 75 kilowatt-hours, which roughly matches the current net price of the Long Range and Performance variants. But like the smaller Tesla, they should also be powered by LFP batteries in the future. Therefore, this technology is increasingly suitable for higher power.
In addition to cars, it will also be used in commercial vehicles, which Tesla calls the “Semi Light” plan. A 500-kilowatt-hour LFP battery is planned for this truck, while the “Semi Heavy” should have a capacity of 800 kilowatt-hours from high-nickel batteries. Also, as a new vehicle that hasn’t been specifically mentioned yet, Tesla lists a bus that is said to have 300 kilowatt-hours of LFP batteries. A multi-passenger electric vehicle in the form of a van is known from earlier master plans. For this, Tesla now calls 100 kilowatt-hours of power, as well as a large battery pack with a high nickel content.
Cybertruck with battery like Model S & X
According to the document, this chemistry should also be preserved in the Model S and Model X, as well as their capacity of about 100 kilowatt hours. Tesla also puts the Cybertruck pickup in the same category (“large sedans, SUVs and trucks”). So it’s also only allowed 100 kilowatt-hours of nickel-rich battery life. This came as a surprise because Tesla has removed most of the Cybertruck’s specs from its website, but it still lists a range of up to 500 miles. The Model S, the most efficient of Tesla’s large electric vehicles, gets 405 miles by US standards, and the less aerodynamic Cybertruck might not even be able to do the same with the same power.