The Long Range versions of the 2021 Model 3, better known in the EV community as the “refresh” variant, might be equipped with an upgraded battery pack. This was hinted at in papers sent to Tesla customers in Europe, which indicate that the new Model 3 will have an 82 kWh battery pack.
As mentioned by users of tff-forum.de, Tesla customers in Europe typically receive paperwork about their vehicles before the car arrives in the region. This way, the vehicles could be registered beforehand and a smooth pickup can be guaranteed.
It surprised Tesla enthusiast and tff-forum.de user HolgerS when his documentation showed that his Model 3 would be equipped with an 82 kWh battery pack. Observations from the EV community in the region, as related by r/TeslaMotors member u/Corio13 indicate that 2019 and 2020 Model 3 were shipped with a 79 kWh pack.
These battery improvements in the refreshed Model 3 appear to be due to the updates that are being rolled out by Tesla battery partner Panasonic in Gigafactory Nevada. Back in September, Panasonic Energy of North America vice president of production engineering and facilities Carl Walton revealed that the company will be producing next-gen batteries in the facility.
According to Walton, Panasonic’s updated batteries improve energy density by about 5% compared to its previous cells. The cells are also expected to be abut 1.4x denser than competing iron phosphate batteries, making them one of the world’s battery cells with the highest energy density. These improvements are only a step, however, since Walton hinted that Panasonic is looking to increase the energy density of its batteries by 20%.
The improvements to the Model 3’s batteries will likely accelerate once the company starts rolling out its next-generation 4680 tabless cells. During a briefing last month, Panasonic’s Chief Financial Officer Hirokazu Umeda revealed that work is currently underway to build a prototype pilot production line for Tesla’s 4680 cells in Gigafactory Nevada.
“We have considerable know-how for that battery. We started working on it immediately after Tesla’s Battery Day and are also preparing to set up a prototype production line in parallel,” Umeda said.
Tesla’s new Model 3, which is now shipping to customers, have shown some improvements in their EPA ratings. the Long Range Dual Motor AWD variant is now listed with 353 miles of range per charge.