Most people are not familiar with this, but electric cars still rely on lowly 12-volt lead-acid batteries to power their 12-volt onboard systems. However, Elon Musk seems to have made it a mission to change that. A good changing point, according to the Tesla boss, will be the automaker’s forthcoming Tesla Model Y.
In his Q1 earning call, Musk, inarguably one of the most acclaimed business leaders in the world today, made a few remarks about the forthcoming Model Y electric crossover.
“The Model Y will be on a different platform than the Model 3,” Musk said, adding that the car will be significantly different on the inside as Tesla learns to build vehicles with higher efficiency.
“The wire harness on Model 3 is 1.5 kilometers in length. The wiring harness on Model Y will be 100 meters. And that’s a redundant wiring harness.”
Initially, it was not clear how the company was planning to go about the task of lowering the wiring harness by such a huge margin. However, now it looks like replacing the 12-volt battery and the associated system will be crucial in accomplishing that objective.
Overall, the main idea is to make the new electrical systems to draw power from the car’s primary lithium-ion battery. In order to make that happen, various existing components will have to redesign completely so they can operate at different voltages. That’s indeed a pretty daunting task.
However, if Tesla gets past the hurdles and accomplishes said objective, it will indeed be a breakthrough not just for the company, but for the industry as a whole. This breakthrough technology will make vehicles much easier to manufacture because of up to 95% reduction in wiring, which in turn could drastically reduce their costs and lead to a much higher market penetration in the coming decades.
The Model Y is expected to be ready for the consumer market sometime in late 2019 or early 2020. To paraphrase Musk himself, if Tesla meets all of the above objectives, the company will gain the ability to manufacture a million units per year.