In a surprising turn of events, Tesla canceled the Model S Plaid+. Elon Musk announced the news on Twitter.
Plaid+ is canceled. No need, as Plaid is just so good.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 6, 2021
This was a rather surprising twist in the tale. The Plaid+ is the most anticipated Tesla launch this year. The company spent months hyping it up. However, it has now been canceled.
The Real Reason Behind the Cancellation of the Tesla Model S Plaid+ Version
The reason behind the cancellation
The Plaid+ was the car that extracts maximum performance from a Model S. However, the cancellation came out of nowhere. Experts think that this is mainly because of Tesla’s inability to design the famed Tesla 4680 battery cell.
Tesla’s 4680 battery cell is the future of battery technology. The 4680 is a battery that Tesla has launched with a view to upgrading its current battery technology. The new cell will consist of a tabless, spiral-shaped shingled design, which is expected to deliver a top-notch performance. The battery will give five times the energy, six times the power, and increase the vehicular range by 14%, which is quite a bit. Tesla is changing not just the battery, but also the battery pack architecture.
The new design will be based on seamlessly integrating the battery modules into the design of the car, rather than having them in a pack that acts as extra weight. This will save some space as well as weight, and help in increasing the battery range. This new architecture will help in eliminating the central parts of the battery modules while improving on the torsional rigidity and polar moment of inertia too, which is a major breakthrough.
The delays surrounding the 4680 Battery cell
The 4680 cells will anchor the high energy requirements of upcoming Tesla vehicles. The Semi, the Roadster, the Cybertruck, and the now-canceled Plaid+ will use this cell. The increased efficiency, higher range, and overall extra power will be very useful in all these vehicles. These are also the vehicles that are facing the most delays. Customers are getting frustrated by the lack of concrete movement towards even one of these vehicles. There is a lot of backlash about the constant delays for the Cybertruck and the Roadster. Even the much anticipated $25K Tesla needs this battery cell.
All these delays are pointing towards the 4680 cells. The big calling card of the 4680 cells is the integration of the battery into the chassis. This makes them space-efficient as well. However, this kind of integration requires a high level of engineering. While Tesla possesses the know-how, it is something that is easier said than done.
What does this mean for Tesla?
Tesla is in a spot of bother now. The Plaid+ would have been instrumental in cementing Tesla’s position as the top EV maker. With rivals like the Mercedes Benz EQS and the Lucid Air getting close to launch, Tesla needs that right now. However, with this development, it seems to be slowing down for them. The loud voices calling out the delays surrounding the Cybertruck are getting louder. The Roadster delays are not helping either. Amidst all this, the Plaid+ would have injected some freshness into the lineup. Its record-breaking performance would have bought Tesla some room as well. But now all these things are choking up. And Tesla is running out of time. Competent opponents are stepping up. The aforementioned EQS is already touted as a “Tesla-killer”. The Ford F-150 is looking more promising than the Cybertruck at this point. The Roadster doesn’t have any competition, but the delays keep hurting its credibility.
Tesla is in a fix. They need to pull a rabbit out of the hat and fast. If these screwed-up timelines keep up, they will run out of excuses very quickly. Their current business plan of relying on Elon’s tweets to keep the ship steady is running out of steam very quickly. However, if they manage to turn this around, it will definitely mark Tesla as the biggest player in the EV market. Difficult times lie ahead for Tesla.