Building an EV with a range of over 300 miles requires a big battery. But exactly how big is the battery in a Tesla?
The answer depends on the model, the spec, and the year of manufacture. For example, the size of the battery in a standard 2017 Tesla Model 3 is very different from the size of the battery in a 2022 Tesla Model 3 Long Range.
In this article, we reveal how big the battery is in a variety of Tesla cars and explain battery size in terms of energy capacity, the physical size of the battery, and weight.
How Much Energy Can a Tesla Battery Store?
A Tesla Model 3 battery has a capacity of between 50kWh and 82kWh. The higher capacity is available in the Long Range and Performance versions of the car. The Tesla Model S and Model X both have a 100kWh battery, while the Model Y has a capacity of 75kWh.
When these different battery capacities are combined with other design differences, such as the weight and aerodynamics of the car, this gives each model a different maximum range.
The maximum range of each Tesla model is:
|Model S Plaid
|Model 3 Performance
|Model 3 Long Range
|Model X Plaid
|Model Y Performance
|Model Y Long Range
However, the range you get out of your Tesla in the real world will vary depending on a number of factors, such as terrain, outdoor temperature, and driving style.
How Big is a Tesla Battery in Terms of Physical Size?
Tesla uses four different sizes of battery cells. These include three cylindrical battery cells – the 18650 (18mm diameter x 65mm length), the 2170 (21mm diameter x 70mm length), and the 4680 (46mm diameter x 80mm length) – and the prismatic LFP cell.
Thousands of these batteries are combined to make the car’s complete battery pack.
For example, Tesla Model 3s that use the 2170 battery combine 2,976 of the 70mm-long battery cells to make a complete battery pack. The Long Range version uses 4,416 cells to form a larger battery, which boosts its capacity and range. Some Tesla Model 3s don’t use the 2170 at all, but instead use LFP batteries.
Perhaps counter-intuitively, Tesla’s cylindrical battery cells are getting bigger as technology improves, rather than smaller.
The latest 4680 cells are bigger than the 18650 cells used in older Tesla models, with a diameter of 46mm vs. the original 18mm, and a length of 80mm vs. an original length of 65mm.
The reason for this is improved efficiency, resulting in the ability to store more power in a lower number of cells. The 4680 battery can store five times as much energy and deliver six times as much power as the previous 2170 battery. And all while requiring fewer cells to be manufactured and installed in the car.
Which Battery do Different Tesla Models Use?
By Q1 2022, more than half of the vehicles Tesla produced were using the prismatic LFP battery. This battery is used in the Model 3 and in Model Y vehicles that are manufactured in China.
Elon Musk has stated that the company wants to move more of its vehicles to LFP. However, at the time of writing, the following battery cells are still in use:
|2170 or LFP
|2170 or 4680 or LFP
How Much Does a Tesla Car Battery Weigh?
Each individual battery cell in a Tesla is quite light. The 18650 cell weighs 47 grams, the 2170 weighs 68 grams, and the significantly larger 4680 cell weighs 355 grams.
However, thousands of these cylindrical battery cells are used per car. The table below shows the total battery weight of each Tesla model.