Panasonic gives Tesla top priority for 4680 battery power

Panasonic has announced that it will give Tesla top priority for new 4680 batteries, which makes sense since Tesla is expected to deliver its first 4680 vehicles in Q1 2022.

MarketWatch reported that Chief Financial Officer Hirokazu Umeda said Panasonic is renovating its facilities and plans to start trial production in Wakayama Prefecture, which is near Panasonic’s headquarters in Osaka. Trial production is expected to begin in the fiscal year beginning in April. Umeda said, “Tesla has had extremely strong demand for the 4680, so when we are actually able to deliver the 4680, we plan to give Tesla top priority.”

A Panasonic spokeswoman said its business with Tesla accounts for about 60% of revenue from its energy business. Panasonic reported revenue of 194.3 billion Japanese yen, or $1.69 billion, in the three months ending Dec. 31. MarketWatch noted that this suggests that Tesla’s business brought in about $1 billion for Panasonic in the quarter.

She also said that when and where the mass production of the 4680 batteries will take place has yet to be decided.

In October 2021, Panasonic unveiled a new prototype of the 4680 battery design, and the company’s head of energy business, Kazuo Tadanobu, showed it off during a media roundtable. He said the main reason for Panasonic’s development of the battery was due to Tesla’s “strong desire”.

“We developed this due to the strong desire of the other party, and we believe this can only lead to stronger bonds.”

During the Tesla Q4 2021 earnings call last month, Elon Musk noted that in Texas, Tesla is already building the Model Y with the structural batteries and 4680 cells. He also said that Tesla would start delivering them soon.

“In Texas, we’re building the Model Ys with the structural battery and 4680 cells, and we’ll start shipping after final vehicle certification, which should be pretty soon.”

Drew Baglino, Tesla’s senior vice president, Powertrain and Energy Engineering, added that he believes the first vehicles made with the 4,680 cells will ship in the first quarter of 2022.

“We are building 4680 structural packs every day, which are being assembled into vehicles in Texas. I was driving one yesterday and the day before yesterday. And we expect our first 4680 vehicles to be delivered this quarter.

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