After presenting the new, potentially revolutionary batteries to the public last month, Panasonic is preparing to mass produce its 4680 cells next. The 4680 cells are pivotal to Tesla’s plans to become a legitimate mass manufacturer of quality electric vehicles.
“In terms of product development, the technological goals have largely been achieved. The new batteries have roughly five times the capacity of the 2170s currently in use. But mass-producing them requires new techniques,” Kazuo Tadanobu, the CEO of Panasonic’s new energy company recently told Nikkei Asia.
Tesla has been refining 4680 production at its pilot production on Kato Road near the Fremont Factory. The company seems to have made significant strides recently based on a few updates related to the 4680 cells. For instance, in September, Tesla initiated a hiring ramp for its 4680 pilot line, hinting at higher production capacity.
Equipment for battery production arrived at Giga Texas recently as well. Tesla already seems to be installing some of the machines for Giga Texas’ battery production facility. The company aims to produce 100 GWh worth of cells at Giga Texas by the end of 2022.
According to Panasonic, Tesla’s 4680 cells have already demonstrated that they can yield five times the capacity of smaller models. The Japanese battery maker plans to start test production on the 4680 cells by March 2022 in Japan.
“We are currently building a prototype production line in Japan that will come online in stages. We will conduct trials toward mass production and hone the process in Japan until it can be deployed quickly,” Tadanobu elaborated.
Tadanobu noted that Panasonic has been discussing 4680 battery production with Tesla since before the pandemic.
“We are working on the new battery at Tesla’s request, and we assume we will be doing business with the company,” added Tadanobu.
The CEO also noted that the company isn’t ruling out battery partnerships with other electric vehicle manufacturers. However, he emphasized that Tesla was its main priority.