18650 batteries have been the go-to vaping battery for years, but will they be supplanted by 21700 batteries in the near future? The production of 21700 batteries is booming and poised to become tremendous. Samsung already uses the battery size for electric bicycles and is rumored to be using them in future BMW automobiles. Panasonic and Tesla will produce millions of 21700 batteries for the upcoming Model 3 car (Tesla is calling them 2170 batteries). With two major players in the battery market going large with 21700 batteries, will the other majors — LG and Sony — follow suit?
There are several reasons a move from 18650 batteries to 21700 batteries is desirable. The form factors aren’t too different and the performance gains are substantial. The cell itself would be roughly 10-percent larger, while the energy capacity would be 35-percent greater.
The argument against the switch is that technology tends to move smaller. The traditional goal — whether it’s processors or energy cells — is to go smaller while achieving the same level of power or greater. Additionally, mainstream vapers seem to be attracted to smaller devices. At ECC 2016, for example, the diminutive Mi-One was one of the most popular devices of the show.
Having said that, small vaping devices aren’t very practical — at least how they are today. Many enthusiast vapers go through at least one battery change per day with single-18650 mods (assuming they aren’t quadruple-wielding). Perhaps the use of 21700 or 2170 batteries is a good compromise. They’ll have more capacity than 18650 batteries without the bulk of 26650 batteries. Additionally, since 18650 batteries are so popular across multiple industries, development has largely focused on that form factor. If the “big four” battery focus on a new type of cell then that’s the one that will receive the biggest advances.
Furthermore, vaping has historically been an adaptive industry. 18650 batteries became popular in vaping because that was the most common size used in the high-powered flashlight business (not Fleshlight, you naughty boy). If 21700 and 2170 become more common in flashlights, automobiles, electric bicycles, and more, then the vaping business would adapt and adopt if the cell size became the new standard.
It will probably be at least a year (and probably more) if the switch happens, so let’s see what the future holds, guys and dolls. Still, it’s fun to speculate. What do you think of the potentially major shift in vaping batteries? Will vaping mods use 21700 or 2170 batteries in the future? Do you want a device that uses one or more? Or would you prefer smaller devices? Kindly share your thoughts in the comments section.