Panasonic reveals its progress on Tesla 4680 battery cells

Panasonic is about to complete development of the new type 4680 cylindrical battery cells for use by Tesla.

Battery division CEO Kazuo Tadanobu said Nikkei this “In terms of product development, the technological goals have been largely achieved.”

The prototype was shown alongside smaller Type 2170 and 1865 cells in October, and the company is currently building a prototype production line in Japan. “which will be put online in stages.”

According to Kazuo Tadanobu, mass production will require new techniques:

“We will conduct trials towards mass production and refine the process in Japan until it can be deployed quickly.”

Panasonic officially admits that it is developing the Type 4680 cylinder cells at “Tesla’s request” and that it had been in talks on the project with Tesla since before the September 2020 event. That alone should give the company a considerable advantage over other potential batteries. Suppliers.

“The 4680 was decided as the optimal battery size after considering costs, the balance of the vehicles themselves and other possibilities offered by cylindrical batteries. “

The company assumes that once production is ready, Tesla will place an order:

“We are working on the new battery at Tesla’s request, and we assume we will be doing business with the company.”

Of course, Tesla also has its own internal 4680 battery project, which – as we understand – will be completed by external suppliers.

Panasonic Batteries: Left to right: the 1865, 2170 and a mockup of the next generation of large cylindrical automotive batteries.

When asked about other customers, Panasonic treats Tesla as a priority, but leaves the option of selling 4680 type cells to other manufacturers (if there is interest):

“As a matter of principle, Tesla, our close partner, is our main priority. But we are not ruling out the possibility of expanding to other companies that share our values ​​if we can do so without depleting our resources too much.”

One of the most interesting parts of the interview was also the part about investments. While other companies invest billions, Panasonic remains silent. According to Kazuo Tadanobu, Panasonic will step up its game once a new product and new technologies arrive:

“I wonder if the amount of investment really matters. We need to make a certain level of investment, of course, but we will avoid taking hasty moves that disperse our resources. We will work on developing new batteries and technologies to come. [of our rivals] and use them in areas where we can add value. “

The chemistry of the LFP battery has been excluded from the equation and is not taken into account.

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