Understanding Tesla Battery: What Kind of EV Battery is in my Tesla?
Over the years, Tesla’s high-voltage battery has gone through several revisions as part of the company’s design process for its electric vehicles. Many different battery pack sizes, from 40 kWh up to 100 kWh, were available for the Model S and Model X in the beginning.
However, Tesla owners sometimes find it difficult to determine which battery pack their vehicle uses. Knowing the kind of battery in a Tesla will help you understand the range and charging concerns that may arise later, whether you have an early Model S or are planning to purchase one on the secondhand market in 2023.
From the 2006 Roadster until the 2023 Model Y, all Tesla vehicles are powered by lithium-ion batteries. Battery packs for different Teslas vary not just in the quantity and size of their cells, but also in the chemistry that goes along with the lithium.
Cathode materials commonly include nickel cobalt aluminum or, more recently, lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4), both of which are known for their structural stability and high energy densities.
Graphite is often used for the anode, and a separator prevents the two electrodes from touching. During charging and discharging, lithium ions flow from the cathode to the anode, and the electrolyte is a lithium salt dissolved in a solvent. Using these components together, Tesla electric vehicles can effectively store and discharge electrical energy.
How to find your battery type
In your charging settings, you can find whether or not you have either an NCA battery or an LFP battery inside your Tesla. If you have two sliders named Daily and Trip in the charging setting menu, you are most likely to have an NCA battery in your Tesla.
On the other hand, if you go into your Additional Vehicle Information tab, there will be written Lithium Iron Phosphate if your Tesla battery is of this type. However, the battery in an Austin, Texas-made Model Y (or a Tesla made in China or Germany) may be an NCM (or NMC). For Giga Texas Model Ys made after the year 2022, this is a very important consideration.
Tesla Battery Sizes
Although Tesla advertised the size of its batteries for the Model S and Model X (2012-2019 models), the exact kWh capacity of each Tesla pack remains unknown.
While you may get a rough sense of which pack your Tesla has by searching at the claimed capacity in kWH for your Model, year, and trim level, the actual pack on your Tesla won’t line up with those figures. In certain instances, the available capacity was software-limited. We won’t go into the specifics of why this is the case but know that Tesla chooses to do this.
Unfortunately, the pack size is no longer included in the model and trim names of newer Teslas, so we have to be creative with other methods for determining the size of a Tesla’s battery.
Each Tesla battery pack should include a parts label that may be read to help estimate its size. Some models have stickers that prominently display the pack size.
On the Model S, the Tesla battery pack size sticker should be on the inside of the wheel well behind the front passenger wheel. The sticker should be found at a similar location on the Tesla Model X. However, on model 3 and model Y, it is much more difficult to find information about the Tesla battery as you would need to take a picture of the vehicle’s undercarriage to find out.
Another way to find your Tesla’s battery type is through a Tesla Service Center Technician. Technicians may access your vehicle’s service history in two ways: either via Tesla’s internal database or the vehicle’s user interface. They should be able to answer some of your inquiries concerning the Tesla’s battery pack configuration.
Caring for Your Tesla Battery
Average lifespan temperature and time spent in highly charged states are two major contributors to a significantly shortened calendar life. If batteries were kept in a refrigerator with a very low charge, they would last much longer. When fully charged and left in a heated environment, they degrade the quickest.
One of Tesla Motors’ most innovative ideas is a liquid cooling system that keeps batteries at an optimal temperature even in the coldest or hottest environments. The cooling system kicks on to maintain a constant temperature of the cells below 35 degrees Celsius, with a long-term goal of 25 degrees Celsius.
Another key factor influencing cycle aging is the charge status of the battery when it is stored. There is a greater loss of cellular capacity at higher charge states. This is another consideration for why we have capped our cells’ voltage at 4.15V rather than 4.2V.
To further improve battery life, with the choice of charging to just 3.8V/cell (50 percent) or 4.10V/cell (90 percent) if the entire vehicle range is not required on the following few journeys. Full (4.15V/cell) charging is not required only when it’s necessary.
Best Tips for Maintaining Tesla Battery
- Avoiding extremes of positive and negative charge. Both higher voltages (over 4.15V/cell, or approximately 95% state of charge [SOC]) and lower voltages (below 3.00V/cell, or about 2% SOC) place more physical and electrical strain on the cell’s interior.
- Avoid charging at extremely high wattage speeds. If you charge your battery in less than two hours, you may shorten its lifespan by a factor of C/2. This means that using the Tesla Supercharger or high-power output networks may very negatively affect your battery. Using such services for a quick boost in power before going home is not as detrimental though.
- Avoiding charging at temperatures below 0° C. The design of the battery pack means that it needs to be heated before being charged at cold temperatures
- Keeping the discharge rate from being too high. Driving the car like it is a race car or excessively using the acceleration pedal may negatively affect the vehicle.
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