As Tesla production ramps up, Panasonic is reportedly investing US$707 million into the production of Tesla’s 4680 battery cell at a factory in Japan by 2023. In case you missed it, the 4680 battery cell is a ‘new, tab-less battery cell in bigger format with new chemistry’ that was first revealed in 2020.
Currently, Tesla plans to produce its own cells at Gigafactory Texas, Berlin, and Shanghai in an effort to support its ongoing production efforts. However, with consumer demand seemingly at an all-time high and increasingly ambitious production schedules to adhere to, Tesla must partner with current battery suppliers including Panasonic, LG, Samsung, and CATL, to support their own battery cell production efforts.
With this in mind, in October 2021, Panasonic officially unveiled its own 4680 battery cell developed with Tesla and, now, a report from Nikkei Asia indicates that the company has given the green light to “80 billion yen (US$705 million) investment at its Wakayama factory in Japan to produce the 4680 cell for Tesla.”
In the report, it’s noted that the new battery is expected to give the vehicles “one of the world’s longest ranges per battery weight and will compete with rival South Korean and Chinese battery makers.”
The report also said that Panasonic was planning a production output of less than 10 GWh at the plant, which would be enough to produce over 150,000 vehicles per year. Thanks to the enhanced efficiency of these new batteries, the report also notes that it will cost 10 per cent to 20 per cent less to produce the 4680 cells.