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I just saw some exciting news from Tesla regarding a new battery, but I'm quite confused. As you can see on the headline of this article and the accompanying Tesla infographic: Tesla infographic

The claim is that the battery has 5x the Energy capacity and 6x the power output. So why does it only have +16% range? I assume this is the range that the car can drive, but surely if the car can store 5x as much energy as before it should be able to go approximately 5x as far?

I feel like I must be misunderstanding something very basic. Does the battery weigh a lot more, offsetting the energy gains, or something?

Thanks!

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  • $\begingroup$ I’m voting to close this question because it is about marketing claims. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Sep 23, 2020 at 14:58
  • $\begingroup$ Bigger cells but probably fewer cells so range only slightly increases $\endgroup$ Sep 23, 2020 at 22:36
  • $\begingroup$ This is a question that should not be closed. It is perfectly fine to inquire if there is a new discovery in physics that would allow a major US company to claim an advanced battery. Maybe it is just marketing bs but I believe it is a legitimate question on this board. Physics neither starts nor ends in black holes... $\endgroup$
    – hyportnex
    Sep 23, 2020 at 23:03

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According to articles like this one, this cell (the 4680) is 5.5 times larger than their previous cell (the 2170). So perhaps there is a slight improvement in power delivery, perhaps a slight worsening of energy density(?), and perhaps for complicated reasons it will allow them to improve the range. It isn't a revolutionary breakthrough in battery technology, at any rate.

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The confusion likely results from assuming that each vehicle will continue to use the same number of batteries.

If instead it used, for example, a quarter of the current number of batteries, each with 5 times the energy, the total energy would be scaled by .25 × 5, increasing the range by 25%.

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