Tesla battery supplier Panasonic still plans to launch trial production of the revolutionary 4680 cells in 2022. It will need to be on top of its game, too, as Panasonic executives have revealed Tesla has put in a massive order for the new cells as the journey of the 4680 battery is set to begin soon.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed during the Q4 Earnings Call that the automaker is ready to launch the 4680 cells, along with the structural battery pack, in the Gigafactory Texas-built Model Y.
“So in Texas, we’re building the Model Ys with the structural battery pack and the 4680 cells, and we’ll start delivering after final certification of the vehicle, which should be fairly soon,” Musk said during the Q4 2021 Earnings Call. Senior Vice President of Powertrain and Energy Engineering Drew Baglino added, “We’re [Tesla] building 4680 structural packs every day, which are being assembled into vehicles in Texas. I was driving one yesterday and the day before. And we believe our first 4680 vehicles will be delivered this quarter.”
It is no secret that Tesla is going through significant demand spikes. Last year, the automaker delivered over 930,000 EVs, beating Wall Street estimates every quarter, including an astounding 13 percent beat for Q4 deliveries alone.
With plans to transition more of the company’s vehicles to new technology, especially the 4680 battery cell, Tesla will need all the help it can get, as it is unlikely to build enough of the new cells in-house to support its manufacturing prowess. New reports indicate that Panasonic has received a sizeable order for the cells from Tesla. The Japanese battery maker will prioritize Tesla in the manufacturing efforts, CFO Hirokazu Umeda said today, according to Bloomberg.
Panasonic will invest $705 million to launch Tesla 4680 battery production in 2023
“Tesla has put in an extremely strong request for the 4680, so when we are actually able to deliver the 4680, we plan to put top priority on Tesla,” Umeda said. “We’ll first prioritize supplying Tesla once the verifications are complete.”
Panasonic did not respond to our request for comment.
It is no surprise Tesla will receive priority when Panasonic begins manufacturing the cells. Not only did Tesla design the cells and reveal them at the company’s Battery Day event in September 2020, but Tesla also has contributed greatly to Panasonic’s energy business. Spokespeople for the company indicated that Tesla accounted for 60 percent of the revenue in Panasonic’s energy business, according to MarketWatch. Panasonic reported roughly $1.69 billion in revenue for Q4 2021, which would bring Tesla’s contribution to roughly $1 billion.
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