Why called 18650?
The metallic cylinder measure 18mm in diameter and 65mm the length.
Figure 1: 18650 Lithium-ion cell
In 2013, 2.55 billion 18650 cells were produced.
Early Energy Cells had 2.2Ah; this was replaced
with the 2.8Ah cell. The new cells are now 3.1Ah
with an increase to 3.4Ah by 2017.
The 18650 could well be the most optimized cell; it offers one of the lowest costs per Wh and has good reliability records.As consumers move to the flat designs in smart phones and tablets, the demand for the 18650 is fading and Figure 2 shows the over-supply that is being corrected thanks to the demand of the Tesla electric vehicles that also uses this cell format for now. As of end of 2016, the battery industry fears battery shortages to meet the growing demand for electric vehicles.
Figure 2 : Demand and supply of the 18650.
The demand for the 18650 would have peaked in 2011 had it not been for Tesla. The switch to a flat-design in consumer products and larger format for the electric powertrain will eventually saturate the 18650.
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