The battery is the heart of the electric car and, by extension, the Tesla. Being battery-powered is the biggest factor separating it from traditional vehicles and is the biggest selling point for electric vehicles, but where do these batteries come from?
Tesla has a large market for both Electric Vehicles (EVs) and home batteries (with or without solar). These require a large supply of Tesla Batteries, which are manufactured in partnership with CATL and Panasonic.
Batteries for electric cars aren’t a product that has been mastered yet. Every year, we’re seeing more and more innovations in the industry leading to more economical and environmentally friendly electric vehicles. If you’re keen on learning more, continue reading below.
Who Makes Tesla Batteries?
Tesla batteries are, in principle, manufactured by Panasonic, since its partnership with Tesla gives it the right to lead battery production at the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada. However, Contemporary Amperex Technology Limited (CATL) is more broadly recognised as the top manufacturer.
This is because CATL (which is the world’s largest manufacturer of EV batteries) has an ongoing partnership with Panasonic to build batteries at the Tesla Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai, China.
Where Are Tesla Batteries Made?
Tesla Batteries are made at the Tesla Gigafactory Nevada and the Tesla Gigafactory 3 in the United States and Shanghai, China, respectively. Although there is another Tesla Gigafactory in New York, its production focuses on Photovoltaic (PV) cells and Tesla Superchargers.
How Much Lithium is in Tesla Batteries?
Although lithium content in electric vehicle batteries varies between manufacturers and sizes, a Tesla Model S battery, which is 70 kWh, contains approximately 62.6 kilograms (138 lbs) of Lithium.
However, EV batteries will, on average, contain just 8 kilograms of Lithium, with 14 and 20 kilograms of Cobalt and Manganese, respectively. Tesla batteries also contain Cobalt and are used for the batteries’ cathodes.
What Type of Battery is the Tesla Battery?
Tesla batteries for both its electric vehicles and Powerwall (solar) products use Lithium-Ion batteries. This is primarily because the energy density achievable with the particular type of battery is around 260 to 270 Watt-hour per kg, compared to the 50 to 100 Wh/kg of traditional lead-acid batteries.
Who Does Tesla Get Their Lithium From?
Tesla gets their Lithium from several suppliers. Among the suppliers of Tesla’s Lithium are Ganfeng Lithium, Livent, Albemarle, Sichuan Yahua Industrial Group, and Liontown Resources, among others.
However, the Lithium supply chain is not as simple as Tesla buying them directly from mines, as the company also works with battery makers such as CATL and Panasonic, who themselves source Lithium from other companies.
Does Tesla Own Any Lithium Mines?
Although Tesla has secured the rights to mine Lithium in the state of Nevada in the United States, it has yet to actually own any Lithium mine. Elon Musk himself has said that Tesla might have to get into the Lithium mining business because of rising acquisition costs of the metal, despite the absence of any shortage.
How Many Tesla Batteries Are Made Every Year?
Tesla produced approximately 100 gigawatt-hours worth of 4680 Lithium-Ion batteries in 2022 — enough batteries to power roughly 1.3 million cars. Tesla expects to produce enough batteries for roughly 30,000 Tesla Model Y vehicles by 2024.
How Much Do Tesla Batteries Cost?
As of 2019, Tesla batteries range in price from $7,500 to $11,000 AUD. Keep in mind that Tesla vehicles use multiple battery modules, with older models using anywhere from 11 to 16 modules, to newer models such as the Model 3 and Model S Plaid using only four to five battery modules.
The exact price you pay for Tesla batteries is highly dependent on what kind of batteries you are trying to buy, which also depends on what kind of electric vehicle you are trying to buy a Tesla battery for.
Battery module replacement for modern Tesla vehicles can cost roughly anywhere between $30,000 to $55,000 AUD, which would only increase considering incidental expenses such as other parts and labour.
Have Lithium Costs Affected the Price of Tesla Batteries?
Yes, the price of electric vehicles, which use Lithium-Ion batteries, is directly affected by Lithium prices in the market. As such, Tesla batteries experience price variations depending on the Lithium market.
As of January 2023, Lithium prices have begun to drop, which would inevitably make electric vehicles and Tesla batteries much more affordable.
Are Tesla Batteries Bad for the Environment?
No, Tesla batteries are not inherently bad for the environment. Unlike materials that power conventional vehicles, such as fossil fuels, Tesla batteries do not release harmful emissions into the atmosphere.
The elements used in Tesla batteries are recoverable and recyclable because the elements refined and placed inside the battery cells remain at the end of their operational life.
None of Tesla’s batteries are actually sent to landfills, as all are recycled after servicing or replacement at designated Tesla Service Centres.
Tesla Battery FAQs
How Often Do Tesla Batteries Need to be Replaced?
Tesla electric vehicles have specified ‘ranges’, which depend primarily on their battery capacities, which decrease as the battery’s capacity begins to deteriorate. Once a Tesla vehicle loses 20% of its range, it is time to replace the battery, which is roughly 650,000 kilometres.
What Kind of EV Battery does my Tesla Use?
Your Tesla, much like all of Tesla’s electric vehicles, uses their Lithium-Ion batteries. Among these batteries are different subtypes meant for different models. These are the 18650-type, 2170-type, 4680-type, and prismatic-type batteries.
How Long Do Tesla Batteries Last?
Tesla Batteries will last for hundreds of thousands of kilometres of travel. However, it is recommended to have them replaced after reaching around 650,000 kilometres of travel, as the battery capacity would have deteriorated enough at that point to warrant a replacement.
Does Tesla Use Panasonic Batteries?
Yes, Tesla uses batteries manufactured by Panasonic themselves, as well as batteries manufactured through a partnership between CATL and Panasonic.
Who Does CATL Supply Batteries to?
Contemporary Amperex Technology Limited (CATL) is the world’s largest battery maker; they supply batteries to companies such as Tesla and Ford. They also have a battery swapping business in China, where EV drivers can rent one of their battery packs instead of heading to a recharging station.
Who Makes Tesla Powerwall Batteries?
Tesla Powerwall Batteries are manufactured by the Clean Energy Division of Tesla — Tesla Energy Operations Inc. The division is in charge of developing, manufacturing, selling, and installing Photovoltaic (PV) systems, battery energy storage products, and other related products.