Panasonic announced on Monday that its Energy Company will set up a manufacturing facility at its Wakayama plant in western Japan to produce the new 4680 lithium-ion battery (that Tesla introduced in 2020) for electric vehicles (EVs) in order to expand its business globally. Production there will begin before the end of March 2024.
Panasonic announced on Monday that in a bid to promote the rapid adoption of electric vehicles, it is working to expand its line of automotive lithium-ion batteries. The company said it is currently developing a new 4680 high-capacity lithium-ion battery at several locations in Japan. Panasonic said it will gradually develop manufacturing capacity in preparation for a full rollout.
"Along with structural improvements, two additional production lines, as well as utility facilities, will be established at the Wakayama Factory, and productivity verification and mass production are set to begin in the fiscal year ending in March 2024," said the manufacturer.
Panasonic has reportedly begun the development of the new 4680 battery cells at Tesla's request. The company's CEO Elon Musk said earlier that Tesla will make its own batteries, but will also continue to source from Panasonic or other battery manufacturers.
The annual production capacity of the Wakayama plant is still under discussion, but is expected to be around 10 gigawatts per year, the equivalent of batteries for around 150,000 electric vehicles. This represents about 20% of Panasonic's current production capacity. The company plans to partially start work this year to create safe and efficient technologies before starting mass production next year. Panasonic also plans to expand mass production at factories in the US or other countries.
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Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.