With the deliveries of the first units of the Tesla Model Y manufactured in Texas, which are the only ones that currently implement the new structural batteries with 4680 cells, Sandy Munro has been put to work to disassemble them and check their repairability. The result, highly anticipated by many of the followers of his YouTube channel, by future Tesla customers and by the rest of the industry, has been complicated. The disassembly of the package is much more difficult than anticipated and the most likely conclusion is that it is not possible to repair them.
Sandy Munro is a former Ford Motor engineer who in his more than three decades of work has been dedicated to competitive analysis in the automotive industry. He currently presides Munro & Associatesan American firm based in Auburn Hills, Michigan, specializing in the piece-by-piece disassembly of vehicles and in the commercialization of reports for other manufacturers and suppliers (reverse engineering). His knowledge is widely recognized by the industry, since in most cases he is right about who leads the way and who is behind at a technical level.
In a quick update through its YouTube channel and its social networks, Munro Live has reported on the progress of the long-awaited disassembly of the structural battery pack of the Tesla Model Y of Texas. progress is slower than expected, because the task is much more difficult than expected.
During the first few days, the team was able to partially open the pack’s steel cover and observe a large block of 4680-type cylindrical battery cells, glued to each other and to the steel casing by a type of pink polyurethane based glue extremely compact and durable.
According to Cory Steuben of Munro Live, “battery repairability is essentially zero.” Although it may seem surprising that this is so, it is also a expected conclusion because as it is a structural package, it should be designed to last the entire useful life of the vehicle.
— Munro Live (@live_munro) July 8, 2022
During the disassembly process, Munro’s team takes many safety precautions due to the high voltage of the system, even though the battery is nearly discharged. On the other hand, in order to preserve the research, it is also important not to destroy its architecture too much. In other words, the team claims that the task is not easy and that it is necessary to wait a little longer to see the final results.
From the teardowns shown in other Sandy Munro videos, such as battery blocks glued together with 2170 cells, the conclusion is that they make a very reliable assembly. Steuben states that even in the case of a conventional batteryrepair or replacement of modules can be costly and time consuming.
The problem that arises in this type of structural batteries is at the end of their useful life, when it’s time to recycle them. If it is so complicated to extract it and then open it, the process will be complicated. Presumably, recycling technology will evolve to make this possible, if, as is the case, the tendency of manufacturers is to implement this type of battery in all their electric cars in the future.