Tesla received 4,680 sample battery cells from Panasonic before the manufacturing giant moves into mass production of the new battery that will power the Cybertruck and more.
In 2020, Tesla unveiled its 4680 battery cell, a new tabless battery cell in a larger format with new chemistry, enabling cheaper and/or longer-range electric vehicles.
The cells have already arrived on the Model Y being produced at Gigafactory Texas. For the first time, the automaker is using its own cells to support its production of electric vehicles. However, Tesla will need so many cells that it is also partnering with current battery suppliers to roll out their own production of the new 4680 cell.
Panasonic, Tesla’s oldest battery partner, has tentatively announced that it will roll out a prototype production line for the new battery cell. Later, Panasonic’s new CEO Yuki Kusumi said he was ready to make a “significant investment” in the production of Tesla’s new battery cell if test production proved successful.
In October 2021, the Japanese manufacturer unveiled its own 4680 cell developed with Tesla. Then Panasonic announced a $700 million investment to produce the 4680 cell in Japan, and it was said that it was looking for a location for a new factory in the United States to produce the cells.
Earlier this month, we learned that Tesla had asked Panasonic to speed up development of its 4680 battery cell.
It looks like Panasonic listened as Kazuo Tadanobu, CEO of Panasonic’s energy business, confirmed today that the company sent samples of 4,680 cells to Tesla (via Reuters):
Panasonic Holdings Corp, which makes batteries for Tesla, said on Wednesday it had shipped samples of its more powerful 4680-size electric car battery to the U.S. electric vehicle maker as it prepares for increased production of battery packs. food in North America.
A pilot line, created first in Japan, started the production of large-scale prototypes in May.
The CEO reiterated that mass production is expected to begin in the next fiscal year beginning in March. It also confirmed rumors that it plans to eventually have a production capacity of 4680 in North America.
As we previously reported, Panasonic is rumored to be planning a giant new battery factory in the US, possibly in Oklahoma, to supply Tesla with 4680 cells.
Tesla uses 4680 cells in its new Model Y produced at Gigafactory Texas, but it should also power all future electric vehicles, including the Cybertruck.
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