Munro & Associates: Tesla's 4680 Structural Battery Pack Has "Zero Repairability"

Tesla’s 4680 structural battery pack has “zero repairability” 9 photos
Photo: Munro Live via Youtube
Tesla’s 4680 structural battery pack has “zero repairability”Tesla’s 4680 structural battery pack has “zero repairability”Tesla’s 4680 structural battery pack has “zero repairability”Tesla’s 4680 structural battery pack has “zero repairability”Munro & Associates tears down structural battery pack on Tesla Model YMunro & Associates tears down structural battery pack on Tesla Model YTesla debuts Model Y SR AWD with 4680 structural batteryTesla debuts Model Y SR AWD with 4680 structural battery
Munro & Associates continued with the teardown of the Tesla Model Y with a 4680 structural battery pack. The process proved more difficult than expected, as the battery pack was sealed and glued. This prompts Cory Steuben to declare “zero repairability” for the pack, but it’s not all doom and gloom.
The teardown firm Munro & Associates offers the first glimpse inside the battery pack of the new Made-in-Texas (MIT) Tesla Model Y. This comes off the production line with 4680 cells and a structural battery pack. It makes sense why everyone is curious to see what’s inside. Of course, Tesla showcased a pack cutaway during the Cyber Rodeo, but this is nowhere near the retail product, as the teardown video below shows us.

According to Cory, it took the team several days to crack open the battery pack, which is not a figure of speech. It was pretty easy to uninstall the battery pack from the Tesla Model Y. Still, opening it has proved a lot more complicated. That’s because the 4680 cells are glued together (and to the steel enclosure) using a pink polyurethane which is extremely hard and durable. There are no battery modules, meaning the whole battery pack behaves like a giant module.

This is understandable, considering the battery pack needs to act as a structural part for the car. And because Tesla forwent a metallic structure, the battery cells are glued together to create the supporting structure. The result is a battery pack that acts like a solid brick, being virtually indestructible. The downside is that “the repairability of this is essentially zero,” as Cory puts it bluntly.

Tesla traditionally does not offer battery repairs for their vehicles. Instead, it replaces the faulty battery pack with a new one. Still, third-party garages are known to replace only defective battery modules for a fraction of the cost. This would become a thing of the past with the structural battery packs, as separating the battery cells would be impossible without destroying the whole pack.

Of course, some people would instantly think of the battery recyclability in this case. It’s safe to assume that getting to the cells when the integrity of the battery is not a priority is much easier. We expect the structural battery pack to offer the same opportunities to recover the precious metals inside. But that would be another task for the Munro & Associates team to reveal. Until then, we’re still waiting to see the full battery teardown video, which Cory thinks will happen by the end of the week or early next week.

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About the author: Cristian Agatie
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After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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