Therein lies the dilemma. 3.1 Ah cells will not be the latest and greatest in 2012. One approach is to allow owners to exchange their battery packs for one having the latest configuration. However when Model S is delivered it will already have outdated packs.
How farfetched is the idea of an owner maintained pack where one can replace individual cells provided these future cells are much larger, thereby requiring few cells?
The announcement at Christmas from Panasonic stated that the next generation of 3.4Ah cells will enter production in 2012, followed by the 4Ah in 2013. However, these new 3.1Ah are later than the original announcement, so there is every chance that they will still be state of the art in 2012.
You also have to factor in the commodity angle. Tesla chose batteries that had been proven in the marketplace. Would they now forsake that safety net and go with an untried product?
The world loves to be deceived.
Excellent point vfx. Panasonic delivers tested and proven technologies. Still, it is difficult to know some of the newer technologies will become production ready one day and cannot be considered yet.
Outsider, I would wait just a little while longer for a Model S with 3.4 Ah cells. Given an 8000 cell pack that would amount to ~ 400 mile range/charge.
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