Tesla cuts spending on battery technology

Tesla cuts spending on battery technology

Tesla’s 4680 battery

Tesla has announced it’s on track with its 4680 battery cell development and has already reduced the cost of production by 25% – already half way to the 50% cost reduction it had flagged at its Battery Day in 2020.

Tesla senior vice president and head of powertrain and energy engineering Drew Baglino gave an update how Tesla’s development of it 4680 cells and structural battery pack was tracking during Tesla’s Q1 earnings call.

“On battery day, we established a cost down roadmap through to 2026 across five areas of effort, there was the cell design we discussed, the anode and cathode materials, the structural pack concept and the cell factory itself,” said Baglino. “We’ve been making progress across all these aspects since then.

“Q1 was all about cost and quality. Altogether, the team accomplished a 25% reduction in cogs (cost of goods sold) over the quarter.”

The 4680 battery program is considered key for Tesla and is an important part of its planned production of the Cybertruck electric ute that is due to start up later this year.

Baglino says Tesla’s Texas 4680 cell factory, which is part way through commissioning, will have a 70% lower capital cost per gigawatt hour than typical cell factories.

On cell design we’re in production with not only the first generation tabless cell we unveiled on battery day, but a second more manufacturable  version in Texas today.”

On lithium refining Baglino said: “Our Corpus Christi lithium refinery breaks ground this May. Our goal is to start commissioning portions of the facility before the end of the year.

“We are 50% equipment and 75% utilities installed at our new cathode building in Austin, with our goal to begin dry and wet commissioning this quarter and next quarter with a target to produce first material before the end of the year.”

Baglino said Tesla is also making big strides on its structural battery pack which is being developed a the Austin factory.

“We saw big improvements with pack manufacturing and with the 4680 cell. On the structural pack concept 50% lower capex and 66% smaller factory for the same output in gigawatt hours per year.

“We do believe structuralism as a concept is a good one. It’s simpler.” said Baglino. “We’ll continue to structurally load the cells and use the pack as the floor of the vehicle.”

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