Could Electric Vehicles Play a Part in the Future of Vaping


Jules M

Tesla plans to build 500,000 cars per year by 2018. Each vehicle uses thousands of batteries, which means Tesla alone will require today’s entire worldwide supply of lithium-ion batteries.

So forward thinking Tesla has built a new battery factory in Nevada, and a called it Gigafactory. Where they plan on building an annual battery production capacity of 35 gigawatt-hours (GWh), to put this into perspective the biggest factories in the world produce around 4GWh.

What has this got to do with vaping?

Well, right now the most common Li-ion rechargeable battery is the ‘18650‘. Its called the ‘18650’ because it’s 18mm in diameter and 65mm long. It’s used in laptops, digital cameras, flashlights, and many other electrical goods and has been the go-to vaping battery for years.

It’s also used in Tesla cars!

Tesla currently uses almost 7000 ‘18650’ batteries in one of their electric vehicles (EV). That’s a massive battery pack, made from connecting 69 ‘18650’ batteries in parallel to create a ‘brick’ then linking 9 bricks to make a ‘sheet’ and 11 sheets to make a battery pack for one car (69 x 9 x 11 = 6831 batteries).

I’m not sure how much they pay Panasonic for their batteries, but if we take the average online price for a good quality ‘18650’ battery, you would need around $50,000 to purchase that amount of batteries.

No wonder Tesla’s are so expensive to buy.

Tesla knows that if they want to be competitive, they need to build the cheapest and highest performing electric vehicles – That’s why they created the GigaFactory.

The rumor was that they would switch to the ‘20700,’ But Elon Musk apparently made some last minute math and announced that ‘2170’ (21mm by 70mm dimensions) would become the standard introducing not only a new standard size but also a new classification by dropping the trailing zero from ‘21700’.

The zero was only added to the ‘18650’ and all other battery classifications just In case they ever came out with more than one type of battery with those dimensions.

The ‘2170’ produces 35% more power and is 10% larger than a ‘18650’. Tesla are taking the smart approach of more power requires fewer batteries so they don’t care that the battery was larger as they needed less of them for the same power output.

But surely batteries manufactured by Tesla won’t leave their supply chain?

Yes, they probably won’t. But if you dig a little more in-depth, the production of ‘21700’ is already booming, Samsung already use the batteries for electric bicycles and is supplying them in a battery pack for BMW, Mercedes, and Porsche to use in their electric vehicles. LG has also announced the use of the ‘21700’ in the EMotion Ultrapack used by Fisker, and they also have battery deals with Audi, Chrysler, Ford, GM, Hyundai, Nissan, Renault, Smart, Volkswagen, Volvo.

But how will these batteries gain traction and appear in today’s laptops and flashlights if they are bigger and heavier? They probably won’t as portable technology is getting smaller and will continue to do so.

So surely vaping will also follow technology tradition and get smaller?

We’ll smaller devices aren’t practical, and most vapers go through at least one battery change a day with a single ‘18650’ mod, or if they are power hungry, it might call for a dual, triple or even quad setup.

Vaping has historically been an industry that adapts to technology and adopted the ‘18650’ for its standard size, high power, and low price. Its tried to adopt the ‘20700’ and the ‘26650’ but there has always been a trade-off between price, performance, size, and availability.

So we’ve seen it all before with other sizes.

Maybe, but the ‘21700’ is only slightly larger for a lot more power. So all it takes is for manufacturers to mass produce them increasing the availability and reducing the cost while at the same time the vaping industry introduces products such as the forward-thinking Sigelei Foresight TC Box Mod, which accommodates dual 21700, 20700 or 18650 batteries.

Even iJOY are thinking ahead with the iJOY CAPO 100W Starter Kit which takes a ‘21700’ which they include their battery in the box, the iJOY 21700 3750mAh Battery.

Do I think the ‘21700’ will become the new standard, Yes. All the leading manufacturers are already making them and thinking about increasing production. How quickly will we get them?, that depends on availability, price and whether other vaping manufacturers realize the potential to accommodate ‘21700’ while ensuring backward compatibility with ‘18650’ – Then we might all go back to single battery mods.

21700 Specifications​

    • Brand: iJOY
    • Model:
    • Size: 21700
    • Nominal Capacity: 3750mAh
    • Nominal Voltage: 3.7V
    • Discharge: 24A Max Continuous, Rated 40A Max Pulse by iJoy
    • Dimensions: 21.6mm x 70.5mm
    • Weight: 69.94g
  • Brand: Samsung
  • Model: 48G
  • Size: 21700
  • Nominal Capacity: 4800mAh
  • Nominal Voltage: 3.6V
  • Discharge: 9.6A Max Continuous
  • Dimensions: 21mm x 70.5mm
  • Weight: 67.4g
  • Brand: Tesla/Panasonic
  • Model:
  • Size: 21700
  • Nominal Capacity: 5750mAh
  • Nominal Voltage: 3.7V
  • Discharge: 30A Max Continuous
  • Dimensions: 21mm x 70mm
  • Weight: 66g

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