New Energy Vehicles

11 May 2023

Panasonic Delays Tesla 4680 Battery Cell Production

11 May 2023  by electrek   

Panasonic announced that it is delaying volume production of the Tesla 4680 battery cell in order to introduce “performance improvement measures.”

Back in 2020, Tesla unveiled its 4680 battery cell, a new tab-less battery cell in a bigger format with new chemistry, enabling cheaper and/or longer-range electric vehicles.

The cells have already made it to the Model Y being produced at Gigafactory Texas. For the first time, the automaker is using its own cells to support its electric vehicle production. However, Tesla is going to need so many cells that it is also partnering with current battery suppliers to deploy their own production of the new 4680 cells.

Panasonic, Tesla’s oldest battery partner, has tentatively announced that it would be deploying a prototype production line for the new battery cell. Later, Panasonic’s new CEO, Yuki Kusumi, said that it is prepared to make a “large investment” in producing Tesla’s new battery cell if test production proves successful.

In October 2021, the Japanese manufacturer unveiled its own 4680 cell developed with Tesla. Then, Panasonic greenlit a $700 million investment to produce 4680 cells in Japan, with plans to bring the cell to volume production at other locations.

Last year, we reported on Tesla receiving 4680 battery cell samples from Panasonic as it aimed to move to volume production in 2023. Panasonic now says that it is delaying volume production of the Tesla 4680 cell to implement improvements.

The Japanese manufacturer said during its earnings results:

Mass production rescheduled to begin during 1H FY3/25 to introduce performance improvement measures that will further enhance competitiveness.

That would put volume production of the new battery cell at Panasonic between April and September 2024.

In the meantime, Tesla is ramping up its own production of the 4680 cells at Gigafactory Texas to support the production of the Cybertruck. LG Energy also announced plans to produce a new battery cell in the same format without a clear timeline.

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