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Tesla to replace SLI lead-acid batteries with 12V lithium-ion in new EVs

Fri, 02/05/2021 - 11:33 -- Paul Crompton

Electric vehicle OEM Tesla is set to replace lead-acid SLI batteries in its new cars with 12V auxiliary lithium-ion.

The US firm will use lithium-ion batteries to power the electronics in its Model S and Model X vehicles following issues with 12V lead-acid batteries only lasting 1-2 years in those vehicles.

The company’s founder, Elon Musk, announced the plan to change chemistry in an interview with automotive engineer Sandy Munro.

Musk said he believed that, in the future, Tesla would use 48V batteries for SLI applications in its vehicles.

Musk said: “I mean, what are we still doing at 12 volts? With the new SX we're finally transitioning to a lithium-ion 12 volt. 

“It's got way more capacity, and the calendar and cycle life match that of the main pack, so we should have done it before now— but it's great that we're doing it now. 

“12 volts is very much a vestigial voltage; it's, like, absurdly low. Nobody sweats that the power to Ethernet is 48-50 volts. That’s really what the car’s low voltage system should be at.”

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