Tesla has released a new one-minute long video spot on its YouTube channel, showing the company’s battery cell manufacturing lines. Elon Musk stated that some of the best manufacturing technology is present in other industries, inciting some curiosity that Tesla may have drawn inspiration from other sectors for its battery scaling projects.
It is no secret Tesla has put a major focus on manufacturing efforts. Whether involved in the manufacturing of the vehicle itself or the batteries that power it, Tesla has worked to improve production lines for a more efficient build process that will help the company scale quickly to handle demand increases.
The new video shows plenty of similarities between the cell production lines and what may be used at a Coca-Cola factory. Elon Musk acknowledged the strategies when a follower mentioned them to him. Owen Sparks, a Tesla fan and owner, noticed that Tesla’s battery cell production lines appeared to be similar to bottling processes used by large-scale beverage companies. Musk replied to the Tweet, acknowledging the similarities and commending high-volume industries for inspiring the Tesla battery lines.
“The best manufacturing technology is in high volume industries, like food & beverage, some medical (eg syringes) & toys,” Musk replied.
The best manufacturing technology is in ultra high volume industries, like food & beverage, some medical (eg syringes) & toys
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 18, 2021
Battery cells are in high demand by many companies aiming to produce electric cars, but Tesla is going a step further. Even though the company sources its cells from Panasonic, LG Chem, and CATL, it aims to build its own batteries at the Kato Road facility near the Fremont factory. Musk detailed Tesla’s battery production efforts at its Battery Day event in September. Even though Tesla is sourcing from third-party suppliers currently, the company may eventually plan to phase it out to control pricing, create better margins through vertical integration, and control supply through demand expectations.
Tesla has gone as far as sourcing its own battery materials, and Musk even hinted that large Nickel mining companies should contact the automaker. The CEO offered a “giant contract” that would last for several years if a sustainable nickel miner came forward. Right now, Tesla’s suppliers are focusing on high-nickel batteries, attempting to relieve the dependency on cobalt.
The most expensive part of an electric vehicle is the battery pack, and longevity depends on battery quality. Tesla has attained a sizeable lead in the sector due to better battery quality and advanced EV tech, but there is always room for improvement. Moving forward, the company would like to mass-produce batteries to get to price parity with gas-powered vehicles. Tesla has laid out a plan with explicit details and claims it will release a $25,000 vehicle within a few years. This ultimately comes down to controlling battery costs, and if Tesla can figure out in-house cell scaling, it will be well on its way to cutting the price of its EVs by a significant margin.
Tesla’s “Making Batteries” video is available below.