Why Does Tesla Insist On Using Cylindrical Batteries Instead of Favoring Square Aluminum Casings?


Recently, while studying the evolution trend of battery design, we discovered some striking phenomena about square case batteries. This article will share these findings and discuss the future development trends of square case batteries. In China’s power battery market, prismatic batteries have always dominated, especially when blade batteries (including long knives and short knives) are also divided into square-shell batteries.

However, the types and sizes of traditional square case power batteries have begun to change. Here are the main features:

From the above analysis, we can see that battery specifications will no longer change dramatically due to technological breakthroughs and other reasons, but as time goes by, reliable customers and reliable needs are becoming more and more important and will become Mainstream battery specifications on the market.

Faucet Battery Specifications

Looking at the battery specifications of leading companies, here are some interesting changes:

-148mm series of extended-range batteries: This series originally evolved from a 35kWh small pure electric battery, and has gradually become the standard configuration of extended-range batteries. With the popularity of Li Auto, the proportion of this series is increasing.

-148mm series of pure electric batteries: This includes several generations, from 50-80mm, mainly used by the previous generation of private pure electric batteries and taxi pure electric batteries, and the proportion is not high now.

-148mm series plug-in batteries: from 37Ah to 51Ah, which have not been updated for a long time. Old plug-in hybrid models mainly use them and will be iterated on in the future.

-220mm series MEB series batteries: This is mainly used by Volkswagen, Hongqi and Haohan platforms, and the overall quantity is pretty good.

-280mm series of customized batteries: the highly special 82mm, mainly to meet the needs of Model 3, has now become the most popular pure electric battery.

-301mm series of customized batteries: BMW customized batteries The trends we have observed show that as customer needs become increasingly diverse, the market share of the previous general-purpose batteries is gradually concentrating. In fact, battery companies have not shown significant control capabilities in dealing with the automotive consumer end market.

Second-tier Power Battery Companies

Let’s focus on the leader of second-tier power battery companies. In fact, its product strategy is quite similar to that of first-tier companies, but it also creates some problems. In comparison, since the company is a latecomer, it mainly focuses on three battery specifications with widths of 148mm, 174mm and 220mm, with different heights and thicknesses. With the concentration of customer demand, we expect that second-tier power battery companies will have more limited room for adjustment.

Future of the Battery Industry

The matching degree between power battery technology and vehicles is increasing day by day. From the perspective of 2023, battery specifications have indeed changed dramatically. We need to pay attention to the following issues:

-Consumers are not pursuing larger and larger battery capacities because the marginal satisfaction of cruising range brought by increased power is diminishing. Under the 400V system, 250Ah of 100 kilowatt hours of electricity is already the limit, and it is necessary to consider whether it can be switched to 800V. Therefore, the cost reduction brought about by single battery capacity exceeding 200Ah has reached its limit.

-The success of different series of blade batteries has shifted the say in the development direction of power battery cell size from leading battery companies. Chinese power battery companies have transitioned from pure technical competition to a mutual balance in cost control, quality systems, manufacturing efficiency, and other aspects. To a certain extent, although no company has begun to talk about new battery specifications, around a certain cost, there are indeed new technologies that are developing with higher manufacturing efficiency and lower costs. From a product perspective, the differences between first- and second-tier power battery companies are getting smaller and smaller.

Despite this, we should still have expectations for Tesla’s 46 series cylindrical large batteries. This technique is highly difficult, and because of this, once implemented, the overall effect is stunning. Looking back on the past three years, the progress made in power batteries has been relatively limited. We see changes in battery size mainly due to improvements in process and capacity. However, the gap between leaders and chasers is gradually narrowing. Therefore, it is an inevitable trend to transition from the price war of car companies to the survival war of power battery companies.