Sunday December 04, 2022

According to reports, Panasonic will begin mass production of next-generation Tesla batteries in 2023

According to Nikkei Asia, Panasonic will begin mass production of next-generation lithium-ion battery for Tesla in 2023. These batteries have five times the energy potential than existing models. In a November interview, a Panasonic executive said that although the batteries are being made for Tesla, they could be supplied to other companies. The new batteries are expected to increase the range of electric cars and make them more affordable to manufacture and sell. Panasonic declined to confirm Nikkei’s report in a statement to Reuters. The company stated that they are currently studying different options for mass production, including a production line we are setting up this year. “We don’t have anything to announce at the moment, however.”
Nikkei reports that larger, more powerful batteries (known as 4680 battery cells, because they measure 46mm by 80mm in size) could increase the range of electric cars by around 20%. Tesla has stated a 16 percent increase in range. According to Nikkei, they could take a Model S car and increase its range by 650km (around 362 miles) to 750km (465 miles). According to Nikkei, Panasonic plans to expand its Wakayama, Japan facility to mass-produce the new batteries. It previously told the Wall Street Journal, however, that production will begin in March 2022.
Tesla presented the next-generation battery cells at a high-profile event in September 2020. Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, said that the cells have six times the storage capacity and a lower cost per kWh. Batteries are expected to account for 30 percent of an electric car’s cost. Nikkei points out that electric cars are more attractive due to their lower prices and better range.
Tesla’s 2020 event focused on the company’s efforts to produce its batteries in-house. This would reduce disruptions caused by relying on suppliers like Panasonic. Musk stated that the company will continue to purchase battery cells from other companies in a series tweets before the event. Musk tweeted that “We intend to increase, but not decrease, battery cell purchases from Panasonic LG & CATL,” adding that Tesla would not be able to achieve high-volume production until 2022.
Musk reiterated during recent earnings calls that he expects Tesla to begin in-house production in 2022 of the 4680 cells and that the first vehicles with these cells will ship that year. Musk stated that the company was 12-18 months away from mass production for the new cells in an April 2021 earnings conference. Musk cautioned in July that while prototype production is simple, high-volume production can be difficult, the WSJ reports.
Tesla’s new battery cell status will likely be discussed during the company’s earnings call on Wednesday January 26th. Musk also stated that he would share a “product roadmap update for the Cybertruck” following reports of its delay until early 2023.

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