Panasonic will invest $704 million to begin mass production of 4680 battery cells for Tesla in 2023. The factory is expected to have a capacity of about 10 gigawatts per year, about 20% of Panasonic's production capacity.
Panasonic will begin mass production of new lithium-ion batteries that will increase the range of electric vehicles by more than 15% as early as 2023, according to Nikkei. We are talking about 4680 battery cells developed by Tesla and presented in the fall of 2020. The new battery is expected to provide vehicles with one of the world's largest ranges per battery weight.
Panasonic has reportedly begun the development of the new 4680 battery cells at Tesla's request. CEO Elon Musk said earlier that the company will make its own batteries, but will also continue to source from Panasonic or other battery manufacturers.
Panasonic is expanding its factory in Wakayama Prefecture and is bringing in new equipment to mass-produce new Tesla batteries with a new investment of about $704 million. The production of the new batteries will be set up there first, probably to supply the Giga Shanghai Model Y with battery cells, and possibly send some to the manufacturer's other factories around the world.
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 U.S. or other countries.
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About the Author
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.