Does Tesla Use 18650 Batteries? (Must Know This)

Last updated on September 21st, 2023 at 09:37 am

It’s no secret that Tesla is the leading brand in the electric vehicle world.

This automobile company produces some of the best e-vehicles with sleek performance, attracting customers far and wide.

And one of the secrets behind its success is its powerful batteries. The batteries provide a powerful range, offering optimum performance.

Most people have wondered about the type of battery Tesla uses, and one of the popular questions is, “Does Tesla use the 18650 batteries?

Yes, Tesla utilizes the 18650 batteries. First, this brand uses four types of batteries for its different models. However, the 18650 battery is the first battery Tesla used in its original Tesla Roadster vehicle before it discontinued production. Now, it uses this battery type in the model S and X, with different numbers of cells.

In this article, I’ll answer whether Tesla uses the 18650 batteries and the number it uses. Also, I’ll discuss the other types of batteries this brand uses.

Finally, in the end, you’ll know if you can buy the 18650 batteries separately.

Does Tesla Use the 18650 Batteries?

Do Teslas Use 18650 Batteries

Yes, Tesla utilizes the 18650 batteries. These batteries are the original type the brand first used in its vehicles.

It started with the original Tesla Roadster, and now the model S and X use this Lithium-ion battery.

The 18650 is a rechargeable Li-ion battery, also known as 1865, with a Nickel Cobalt Aluminum (NCA) chemistry. It has a size of 18 mm by 65 mm.

Also, the 18650 battery comes in different types, allowing users to travel well over 200 miles. This battery has a standard voltage of 3.7 volts, ranging from 2.5 to 4.2 volts.

Additionally, it can store a maximum of 3500 mAh. However, the 18650 batteries are smaller, making them have more cells.

Below are the Tesla models that use the 18650 battery.

#1. Roadster

The Roadster was Tesla’s first electric car in 2008 and the first to use the 18650-type batteries.

Tesla boasted of the car’s ability to accelerate from 0–60 mph in under 4 seconds, owing to the Li-ion battery.

Also, the batteries allowed the Roadster to cover a range of 244 miles on a single charge, and the vehicle could attain a high speed of 125 mph.

In addition, it has an average efficiency of 88% and 120 miles per gallon gasoline equivalent (MPGe).

Although Tesla has disconnected the production of this vehicle, it has hinted at continuing a second-generation Roadster.

#2. Model S

Model S is another Tesla Model that uses 18650-type batteries. Tesla began the production of this vehicle after the discontinuation of the Roadster in 2012.

Unlike the Roadster, which had its battery pack behind the car, the Model S carries its battery underneath the floor.

The model S is a long-range car owing to the 85 KWh battery. This model has thousands of 18650 batteries arranged in modules.

Also, the battery arrangements are in series and parallel, boosting the voltage and power duration, respectively.

In addition, the battery allows this car to travel a range of 405 miles on one charge. Its speed increases from 0-60 mph in under 2.1 seconds, with a high speed of 216 mph.

It also has an MPGe of 120 and an average efficiency of 94%.

#3. Model X

The Tesla Model X is the most recent version to use the 18650-type batteries.

It has a lesser range than the Model S but greater than the Roadster’s. Its maximum range is 348 miles on a single charge.

Additionally, this long-range battery has 100 KWh of energy.

The Model X increases its speed from 0-60 mph in under 3.0 seconds and has a high speed of 163 mph. It has a 105 MPGe and a peak efficiency of 93%.

How Many 18650 Batteries are in a Tesla? 

The number of 18650 batteries in Tesla depends on the vehicle’s model and version.

The 18650 Li-ion battery consists of thousands of cells, which provides immense power to the vehicle.

The most popular battery pack is the 7,104 cells, found in model S and arranged in modules.

However, Tesla has modified the battery’s pack to hold more cells.

Below is the number of 18650 batteries in each model.

#1. Roadster

The original Tesla Roadster contained about 6831 18650 batteries in 11 modules.

The battery had an energy of 53 KWh and could reach 244 miles on a single charge.

#2. Model S 

The model S contains 7104 18650 batteries. The battery pack comprises 16 modules containing 444 cells each in a 6×74 configuration.

The modules contain two integrated thermistors and BMS structures. This configuration allows great performance with a fast charging capacity.

Also, the model has a capacity of 85 kWh and can cover a long range of 405 mph on a single charge, making the battery the longest-lasting battery on a charge.

#3. Model S Plaid

The Plaid is another version of the model S. It is lighter than the standard S model and travels faster. This version contains 7920 18650 Li-ion cells and has a capacity of 99 kWh.

Also, instead of the 16 modules of the S modules, it contains 5 modules, each module consisting of 1584 cells. It runs at 450 volts.

Also, fewer modules make the battery pack lighter. But, it has a higher density than the original model S. Additionally, it can cover a distance of about 396 miles on one charge.

#4. Model X 

The model X contains 8256 18650 batteries. It comprises 16 modules like the standard model S. However, each module contains 516 cells in a 6×86 configuration.

Tesla has previously used different battery packs containing different numbers of cells in the Model X.

Conversely, its recent versions, the Standard and the Long Range Plus, contain 8256 cells. Also, this version’s capacity is 100 KWh.

What Other Batteries Does Tesla Use?

Tesla also uses the 2170, 4680, and Prismatic battery types in various models except S and X. These batteries are larger and contain fewer cells. 

Here is a detailed explanation of the other batteries Tesla uses.

#1. 2170

The 2170 is another type of battery Tesla uses for its automobiles. It’s a larger step-up of the 18650 battery, with a dimension of 21mm by 70 mm.

The Model 3 and Y are the vehicles with this battery type. It has the same NCA( Nickel Cobalt Aluminum) chemistry as the 18650.

Also, the 2170 battery has an increased anode/cathode plate size, which increased its resistance due to the longer path a charge had to travel. Thus, it releases more energy as heat.

It has a charging range of 2.5–4.2 volts, with a standard voltage of 3.7 volts. Each battery cell can store up to 4800 mAh.

#2. The 4680 

Tesla released the 4680 battery type in 2022. It’s larger than the rest, having a diameter of 46 mm and a length of 80 mm.

Tesla is the sole manufacturer of this battery, unlike the other battery types with a different producer. Some Model Y versions use this battery.

Also, the Tesla engineers designed the 4680 without “tabs,” shortening the electrical path and releasing less heat energy.

The 4680 maximum charge is also 4.2 volts, with a low discharge of 2.8. The standard voltage is 3.7 volts, and each cell can store up to 9000 mAh.

Below is a table showing a comparison between the different Tesla cylindrical batteries.

Features 1865021704680
ModelModel S and X Model 3 and YModel Y
Dimension (mm)18 by 6521 by 7046 by 80
Standard voltage 3.2- 3.7 3.73.7
Total capacity (mAh)35004800–60009000
Cost of production More expensive Cost less Cost less

#3. Prismatic 

The Prismatic battery is a new model and alternative to the cylindrical battery types.

It uses Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP), a different chemistry from the NCA chemistry in other batteries. 

However, it’s cheaper but contains less energy. So, Tesla uses it in the basic, entry-level models. For example, the base rear-wheel-drive Model 3 uses this battery.

Also, China’s standard range Model 3 and Y use the LFP Prismatic battery.

What Type of Battery Does Tesla Use?

Tesla uses lithium-ion batteries for its electric vehicles. These batteries, specifically designed for electric cars, are known for their high energy density and performance. They provide the required power to propel the vehicle and are also used to store and release energy during acceleration and regenerative braking. Tesla’s innovative battery technology has revolutionized the electric vehicle industry, showcasing how tesla batteries are used to enhance both efficiency and driving experience.

Can You Buy Tesla’s 18650 Batteries Separately?

No, you can’t buy the 18650 separately. Although Tesla doesn’t manufacture the 18650 batteries, its vehicles come equipped with them.

Panasonic is the manufacturer of the 18650 batteries, and it supplies these batteries to Tesla. So, when purchasing a brand-new vehicle from this company, you buy it with the batteries.

Conversely, you can purchase the 18650 battery replacement when your battery is damaged or dies.

Tesla batteries should last 10–20 years, depending on their usage. The brand provides a warranty period of 8 years or at least 100,000 miles, depending on which comes first.

If you need to change your Tesla battery, Tesla offers repairs at no charge within the warranty period.

However, you must pay for a battery replacement if you’ve exceeded the warranty period. The price varies depending on the model and the number of modules that need replacement.

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