Tesla could potentially offer cheaper prices on electric vehicles in the near future as Panasonic expects to roll out its updated and refined versions of the 2170 and 4680 battery cells as early as this year, its Chief Technology Officer for EV batteries said.
Tesla and Panasonic have worked together for years, jointly operating the Gigafactory Nevada facility together and working cohesively as a unit to push EV efforts forward.
In an effort to remain at the top of the EV landscape, which is growing quickly with new competitors and modern technology, the long-standing companies in the sector are forced to continuously improve their products or risk falling behind the hungry up-and-comers.
Panasonic is one of the more notable battery production companies in the EV space, along with CATL, a Chinese-based company that has been the world’s largest producer of batteries in terms of gigawatt-hours for several years.
But Panasonic is revolutionizing its trusty 2170 and 4680 battery cells that Tesla has used for the Model 3 and Model Y for years. According to Shoichiro Watanabe, Panasonic’s CTO, the new iterations of the cells could be available as soon as this year.
“We will expand battery capacity and improve productivity at the same time,” Watanabe said, according to Bloomberg.
Panasonic wants to increase production output by roughly 10 percent. To do this, it will build a new factory in Kansas that will produce the 2170 cells in a $4 billion effort. A separate plant will be built for 4680 production, which was a cell Tesla unveiled in 2020 at Battery Day.
The third factory’s location will be revealed by the end of the fiscal year in March, and it is expected to need “thousands of employees.”
Oklahoma was in the running, but Panasonic turned down $700 million in state incentives to build the new plant there, it said in December 2023.
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