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The Latest Tesla Model S & Model X Ditch the 12-volt Lead-Acid Accessory Battery for Lithium-ion

The Latest Tesla Model S & Model X Ditch the 12-volt Lead-Acid Accessory Battery for Lithium-ion

Author: Manish Kharinta   

Electric automaker Tesla is making some important changes to its flagship Model S sedan and Model X SUV. In a recent interview, Chief Executive Elon Musk announced that the company has replaced the conventional 12-Volt lead-acid battery in favor of a more efficient, lithium-ion replacement. 

Musk claims that the new 12-volt accessory batteries offer more capacity and are more similar to the ones that power the electric drivetrain. He also confessed that Tesla should have made the transition a lot sooner and said he's glad that it's "finally happening."

Musk confirmed that with the new versions of Model S and Model X, Tesla have started using 12-Volt lithium-ion cells. The new batteries will probably replace all of the lead-acid batteries in the company's new product portfolio. 

Conventional lead-acid batteries are not as efficient as their lithium-ion counterparts and tend to deplete quite rapidly. The performance of lead-acid batteries is also affected by climate and temperature conditions where the vehicle operates. 

Last year, Tesla launched an over-the-air update to fix the recurring problem of rapidly depleting lead-acid batteries in its vehicles.

Musk also confirmed that Tesla is currently working on developing a lightweight 48-Volt subsystem for its vehicles. The new architecture will be used for all low-voltage needs of the car and will be more cost-effective than the current system.

In addition to the new 12-volt lithium-ion battery, the new versions of Model S and Model X also received a wide range of updates over their predecessors.

Tesla will not be the first automaker to make the switch to 12-volt lithium-ion batteries in the segment.

In 2017, South Korean car manufacturer Hyundai offered a similar system in its Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV), which allowed the driver to recharge the 12-volt battery by drawing power from the main battery pack by simply clicking a button located on the dashboard. In other cars, the lead-acid battery is used to power vehicle systems, such as lighting, the audio system, heating and air conditioning and more.

There have been many reports of Tesla owners swapping out the standard lead-acid batteries for aftermarket lithium-ion replacements, but with Tesla officially switching over to the more efficient option, customers can now enjoy a more hassle-free ownership experience.

Manish Kharinta
Manish Kharinta
Manish Kharinta is a automotive writer based in the Los Angeles area. He has worked for automotive industry websites TheSmokingClutch.com, CarDekho.com and CarBikeindia.com. His experience ranges from covering auto shows, to car reviews and breaking automotive news. Manish aims to bring forth his unique perspective on automotive design and technological innovations in the automotive industry.
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