In an exclusive with Reuters, Panasonic has said that it aims to increase the energy density of its '2170' battery cells by 20% in five years. The 2170 battery cells are the type that it supplies to Tesla meaning that those vehicles are set to be able to travel further on a single charge.
In addition to having a longer charge, Panasonic is aiming to put a cobalt-free version of the battery on the market between 2022 and 2024. According to Reuters, cutting out cobalt from batteries could cut costs which could have a knock-on effect on the overall cost of Tesla vehicles which would be good for customers looking to buy them.
Panasonic’s 2170 lithium-ion battery cells were first produced for the Tesla Model 3 in 2017. The current iteration uses a nickel-cobalt-aluminium (NCA) cathode chemistry and according to researchers, cited by Reuters, has the highest energy density above 700 watt-hours per litre. The energy density boost that Panasonic is planning will put it even further out in front.
Another benefit of a higher energy density battery is that the battery itself can be made more compact. This will allow Tesla to make the vehicle more spacious on the interior.