“We only do high energy nickel ourselves, at least for now. Also, maybe the presentation wasn’t clear that we actually had our cells in car packs for several months. Prototypes are trivial, volume production is difficult, ”Musk wrote.
Interestingly, Elon Musk noted that Tesla currently only produces cells with high-energy nickel cathodes. During Battery Day, Tesla’s slide outlining his cathode strategy listed the Semi and Cybertruck as vehicles using high energy nickel. However, the CEO has not confirmed whether the Cybertruck prototype or the Semis binoculars performing road tests across the United States are now equipped with 4,680 cells. Such a scenario seems plausible because the two vehicles today only have prototypes.
Using 4,680 cells for the Cybertruck and Semi would be strategic for Tesla, especially since both are heavy machines designed to be as tough as possible. The Cybertruck is literally created to overthrow the kings of the pickup truck market, and the Semi is designed to disrupt the long-haul segment, known for its constant and heavy demands on its vehicles. Needless to say, Tesla’s courage as an automaker will be tested by the Cybertruck and Semi, and their 4,680 high-nickel cells could be their trump card against the competition.
That being said, the first vehicle that would likely be released with Tesla’s 4680 cells will be the Model S Plaid, which was announced on Battery Day. The Model S Plaid is Tesla’s craziest sedan to date, with its 0-100 km / h time in under 2 seconds, its top speed of 200 mph, its time of under 9 seconds on a quarter mile and three engines that produce 1100 horsepower. The fact that the vehicle has a range of over 520 miles despite its performance-oriented tuning indicates just how disruptive Tesla’s 4680 cells really are. The Model S Plaid has been announced for a 2021 release date, although speculation abounds that the vehicle could see an earlier than expected release.