Panasonic announced that it is working with Tesla to build a new prototype production line to produce its 4680 battery cell at Gigafactory Nevada.
In a conference call following the release of its latest earnings, Panasonic’s Chief Financial Officer Hirokazu Umeda announced that they are working with Tesla to produce its new 4680 battery cell that was announced on ‘Battery Day’ last month.
The executive said (via Reuters):
“We have considerable know-how for that battery. We started working on it immediately after Tesla’s Battery Day (in September) and are also preparing to set up a prototype production line in parallel,”
Tesla’s 4680 battery cell features a much larger form factor and it is expected to greatly reduce the cost per kWh.
The automaker has designed its own production equipment to manufacture the cell, which features an innovative tabless design.
Tesla is building a large pilot production line in Fremont, which is expected to deploy at a bigger scale at other locations.
At Battery Day, Tesla didn’t mention working with any specific companies to produce these cells, but it now sounds like they could license the cell to Panasonic based on this new comment from the Japanese manufacturer’s CFO.
Furthermore, we recently reported on an interesting comment from LG Chem, another Tesla battery cell supplier, about making a new cell that sounded extremely similar to the 4680 cell.
Is Tesla partnering with other cell manufacturers to produce its new 4680 cells?
It sounds like it and that would be great validation for Tesla’s technology.
They not only developed the cell, but they build an entire ecosystem of manufacturing processes and equipment to be able to produce it.
If Panasonic and LG Chem get behind this new machinery and way of producing cells, it could mean that Tesla indeed has made an important breakthrough with battery cell production.
What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.