Tesla Battery Control Electronics Are Vastly Superior

Sandy Munro tears apart Tesla EVs to understand exactly how they are made. Sandy says that Tesla is able to control power output to 2-3 millivolts for every group of 46 batteries.

Tesla made the right choice to use cylindrical batteries. Everyone in the car and electric car game thought that thousands of cylindrical batteries would not work, but Tesla proved them wrong.

Tesla is maintaining a lead because they have recruited the best and brightest young engineers who were laid off in the 2008 financial crisis.

Tesla gets the brightest engineers and has a culture where they work harder. The Big-3 car makers have a unionized situation and pushes engineering work out to third parties.

Tesla is now working with the best battery science teams.

Tesla is pushing ahead with battery science, battery electronic engineering, AI and vision programming and with semiconductor chip and electronics research and engineering.

SOURCES- E for Electric and Sandy Munro
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com (Brian owns shares of Tesla)

21 thoughts on “Tesla Battery Control Electronics Are Vastly Superior”

  1. I’m kinda surprised we haven’t seen much of a resource crunch already for things like nickel, lithium, lanthanides, etc… all it took was the measely threat that China would not effect a monopoly and they completely rolled over and capitulated back to cheap raw material prices? surely demand doubling for a decade will change the landscape of mineral companies as we know it. there is also, despite the talk, no proven cost effective way to recycle the by products of used lithium batteries. This all comes back to consumers on the price side but…I guess color me shocked that it is merely click pasta so far. we should be seeing significant issues here in the next 5 years if EVs remain the outselling catagory for prime commuter vehicles…add in grid storage and offshore wind crowding out every other power production option. That said, I have great doubts that Electrification will make any significant headway in aircraft. equation is too lopsided and leaves performance on the table. add that manufacturers are already squeezed and France is going to need 17 billion to bring Airbus back (which they’ll get)

    Not a doomer, just interesting to watch it all unfold. I can say Tesla is probably the mind-share leader right now. I’d be more excited for spacex stock TBH.

  2. Actually, being overvalued is a good thing for an adventurous company. If the CEO is smart, he can use his high market valuation as a wallet. Didn’t AOL buy Time Warner with overinflated stock ? Surely there’s something Tesla wouldn’t mind owning.

  3. Exactly. It also points to fake-science. If I stick a 14 bit analog-to-digital ‘digitizer’ (or adaptive approximation digital voltmeter chip) on a 24 volt battery, between any adjacent values, is about 2 millivolts of ‘resolution’.  Yet, as is the way with metrology, the whole unit might only be ± 0.5% relative precision. Heat, temperature-drift, accuracy of voltage references, internal resistance-ladder non-linearities, all that.

    0.5% = One part per 200, or ± 6 bits absolute on a 14 bit ADC. 

    Yet, it isn’t enough slop for a good old fashioned class-action suit for false advertising. The 14 bit digitizing circuit definitely PRODUCES 14 bits of fairly linear data.  2 millivolts!


    The full list of my generally peeved questions remains unsatisfied.
    WHY and in WHAT WAY does 2 millivolt metrology deliver magnificence?

    ⋅-⋅-⋅ Just saying, ⋅-⋅-⋅
    ⋅-=≡ GoatGuy ✓ ≡=-⋅

  4. Ditto. TBH I didn’t consider Tesla a real car company until they bought Maxwell because they were far too dependent on Panasonic.

    To be honest Tesla’s best play might be to sell Maxwell batteries at a 15% margin to anybody who wants them.

  5. “2 mV measurements on an internal battery module rated at 23,400 millivolts”

    I hate it when I am asked to review performance improvements that are less than 1% and make the code very messy. Was it worth it? Tesla’s claim to fame is range and economy (such as it is). I guess this is in line with their priorities but..

    Was it worth it? Was there nothing else to engineer?

  6. I don’t think the world is waiting on a million-mile battery.
    For the average consumer, I think the current lifetime is just fine. (Pun, as always, intended.)
    (And that is the CLAIMED lifetime. We will take decades to find out if batteries actually last decades under real world conditions.)

    The current issues suppressing even further market acceptance are :
    $/watt.hour. Even at $100/W.h we are still looking at the factory price of $8-10k for a full sized battery. This tends to blow out to maybe $20k+ to the consumer, once you’ve got profit margins, and then a tax multiple on top of that, and then an interest and insurance multiple on top of that.
    kg/W.h. EVs are pretty much guaranteed to be a 2 tonne car, if you get one with the good range. I’ll grant that there has always been a very strong tendency to ever growing vehicle mass anyway, but adding a half tonne battery to the mix doesn’t help. And the fat torque and disregard for energy usage that going electric gives you will probably result in taking the brakes off the mass growth even more.

  7. I’m just waiting for the Maxwell acquisition to yield some goods. If Tesla can improve battery capacity, charge rate or lifetime by even 10% it will radically alter the landscape. It seems like the lifetime is the real money, they may be able to double the lifetime of the battery using the supercap / dry cell technologies.

  8. Sandy’s operation is interesting; He’s an industry guy. I think he has a kind of over-bias towards innovation in the auto industry. of course it is much needed and overdue but I think he goes out of his way to praise the examples of it when he finds them. Tesla is great and I’ll be only the 2nd or 3rd person to tell you but I think, if we look at Tesla as consumers or investors. there is still much to be desired. the million mile battery will change the world…when and if it arrives. Tesla’s service and warranty operation needs a complete overhaul, any owners forum will tell you this. Solar roofs have only barely escaped scathing scandal for installation lifetime and have just launched a new product, as yet unproven as it is very hands off for customers to have to handle planning on their own.

    Again, Tesla is great, best EV maker by far I’d say, maybe the most innovative car maker at the moment, but far from the best overall. With no dividend to counterweight stock speculation, I’d say overvalued ATM, I say that as someone who made a pretty penny on the way up. Until and unless they can get a good handle on insurance and service + end of life all these Software-as-a-service features. they’re going to have some rocky waters to navigate…which I hope they will.

  9. Conflating an aggrandized comparative (“vastly superior…”) without citing QUANTITATIVELY what that means in competing implementations, is just … hubristic.  

    Now almost all advertising is hubristic. Aggrandized value-statements without citing numbers to confirm the magnificence of the Emperor’s 6-inch (15 cm) codpiece. New! Improved! Stunningly Higher Power! Vastly superior design!!! Buy!!! Now!!!

    What does it really mean though, in the as-it-might-affect-the-consumer’s-experience terms?

    If “the competition” is only able to measure its battery recharging to 20 millivolts, and Tesla to 2 mV, does that mean that Tesla’s batteries will charge (20 ÷ 2 = 10×) faster?  No? OK, then does it mean they’ll last 10× longer? No… OK, then does it mean they’ll resist catching on fire in my garage while charging overnight 10× better?  … no.  Come on how about when I drive a car into a super-charge station, can a Tesla safely charge 10× faster than mine because of those measurements?  No… 

    Truth is kind of harsh: 2 mV measurements on an internal battery module rated at 23,400 millivolts (Tesla, Model S, actual), versus 2 millivolts of metrology is almost irrelevant. The ‘corner of the full-charge curve’ is WAY steeper than 2 mV vs 20 mV measurement criticality.

    ⋅-⋅-⋅ Just saying, ⋅-⋅-⋅
    ⋅-=≡ GoatGuy ✓ ≡=-⋅

  10. Just for the sake of fairness. numerous teardowns have been conducted on model 3 and beyond era Teslas (the previous ones only seem to be good for about 300k miles) and found that the electronics are basically military/aerospace grade. the days of fragile, numerous wire looms held together in consumable plastic looms appear to have died in the late 2000s. now even hard wire connections are being done away with for the sake of reliability/cost/manufacturability. I’ve never had a GPS head unit last in any OEM car I’ve seen age beyond 5 years. either hardware or software goes first. I’d much rather take my chances on something that is braking the 2nd and 3rd tier supplier hell that cars have been saddled with for decades.

  11. for the last 10 years my car cots were , lease/payments – lion’s share. Registration fees , changing winter /summer tires, fixes to mirrors, panoramic rooftop, gas, oil change, tire pressure sensor, and once faulty fuel sensor. While you have some extra maintenance costs for an ICE engine , they are not that large for new cars (up to 10 years). The rest of the costs will be the same . You still have wheels, tires, AC, suspension, breaks, tire pressures, and a whole bunch of fragile proprietary electronics that could fail and you get charged an arm and leg to replace.

  12. Up until a few days ago I would have agreed. But now CATL has announced that it has a 2 million kilometer battery pack that is it willing to sell to anyone who would like to buy it. Presumably, they use prismatic batteries.

  13. I like Tesla, great cars, but Brian needs to stop with the adverts. This article is nothing more than a Tesla plug. Thought this website was supposed to promote advances, not rehashing with nothing technical beyond the anecdote, “Tesla is able to control power output to 2-3 millivolts for every group of 46 batteries.”

  14. As hard as Tesla is pushing the industry as a whole is working in a coordinated and shared manner to a great extent and is closing the gap at a satisfactory rate. A single absolute player in a field happens only in places with an undeveloped mind set and more restricted market like China.

  15. Not much evidence that the incumbent OEMs can change fast enough. They have so much legacy baggage with existing plant, union obligations, dealership network (highly dependent on repairs and not motivated to sell EVs), lack of in-house EV expertise. And before you know it, BEVs will go from being more expensive than ICE and pretty niche/low demand, to being in high demand and very cost competitive. While supply is constrained margins can be very strong. And Tesla is poised to grow very quickly if they are adding a new manufacturing plant per year currently (Shanghai last year, Berlin this year, Texas next year), and only likely to accelerate.

    The valuation can be very frothy, but people were saying the same thing a year or two ago at $200-$300/share before Model 3 was shown to be a financial success.

  16. If they are indeed overvalued its not your problem .. people who buy the stock disagree and THAT is the very thing that powers the great US economy, money flows where it will and reality eventually decides leaving ALL opinions in the dust yours and Wangs .. the future will tell who is right.. not words but facts.

  17. Yeah, good company, BUT let’s admit it’s in full bubble mode: $175bn market cap, seriously?? Other companies as advanced as Tesla AND 10-20x more vehicles sold per year, are worth less… a couple of hat-tricks with batteries aren’t a justification for such optimism. Last ridiculous evidence of this narrative-driven phenomenon: SpaceX launches a capsule (as widely expected) and Tesla – which is a totally unrelated company if not for the same manager – jumps 7% in a day with no other automotive-specific news. Crazy!
    The entire stock market has gone crazy while the economy will take quite a hit this quarter and this year in general. A lot of amateurs are betting their welfare check through apps like Robinhood, what’s happening right now is pure mass hysteria, mark these words.

Comments are closed.