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Tesla Might Scale-Up Battery Cell Production Line Close To Fremont Factory

by Eva Fox June 22, 2020

Tesla Might Scale-Up Battery Cell Production Line Close To Fremont Factory

Featured image: Tesla

Tesla Battery Day is an incredibly important event for fans of the company, for all electric car manufacturers, and for the battery industry in general. The California auto manufacturer has teased us for a long time that this event will be very important, since it may possibly present a million-mile battery. But it seems that Tesla will present us something bigger, something that will change our perception - the cell production system.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced yesterday via Twitter that Battery Day and the annual Shareholders Meeting are expected to be held on September 15th. He also said that this meeting will include a tour of cell production system.

In addition, Musk confirmed that the event would definitely be held in Fremont.
This information hints that Tesla has a cell production system in Fremont. We previously heard that company employees are doing battery research at the “skunkworks lab” at the Kato Road plant, a few minutes from its car plant in Fremont, California.

According to reports, Tesla research teams are currently focusing on the development and prototyping of advanced lithium-ion batteries, as well as new equipment and processes that can allow Tesla to produce cells in high volumes.

Previously, news broke that Tesla had signed a contract for battery formation equipment from South Korea’s Hanwha Group on April 20. The news further supports the idea of ​​a manufacturing line for battery cell production at the Fremont factory.

In May, Tesla posted 3 new jobs for Fremont Factory. The Fremont factory has hired a Cell Engineer for cell physics modeling as well as a Production Process Engineer and Controls Engineer for Tesla’s Pilot Line Cell Manufacturing. At that time, many assumed that the company had a pilot line for the production of batteries, but recent data show that Tesla is already on the way to having a full-fledged production line that will be ready to produce battery cells on a large scale.

In addition to hints from Musk, agreements on the purchase of equipment and the hiring employees, there are other facts confirming this. In March 2020, Tesla presented a plan for the reconstruction of the building at Kato Road. According to the new plan, the building was supposed to accommodate more employees than before, namely: 45 research and development employees and up to 425 manufacturing employees.

"For baseline conditions, the existing site accommodates 300 employees with Research & Development Manufacturing job functions. The Project proposes to redevelop the existing site by adding floors to the 47700 Kato Road building. The redeveloped site will accommodate the following employees and job functions: 45 research and development employees and up to 425 manufacturing employees, spread over several shifts Monday through Friday."

Tesla's plan for the reconstruction of the building at Kato Road

Today, Tesla enthusiast JPR007 / Twitter published a document in which PG&E approves Tesla's application for an increase in power consumption by 6 MW.

Based on the requested capacity, JPR007 assumes that it looks like part of a natural progression towards commercial-scale Cell Production at the Kato Road building. Based on information from Energy use for GWh-scale lithium-ion battery production, he calculated that such a line could produce about 13,000 batteries for Model 3/Y.

"A 6 MW supply provides 6,000 kWh of energy per hour of operation. This would support 100 kWh of Cell production per hour of operation.
100 kWh x 24 x 7 x 50 = 840 MWh of Cell production per year = 0.84 GWh per year on a 7/24/50 operation schedule = about 13,000 MY / M3 units."

These calculations are not the limit for Tesla, since the new Tesla processes, patented recently, can be much more energy-efficient than existing ones. Therefore, production speeds can be much higher than expected.

Battery Day will surely be very informative and we will learn a lot of stunning information that will surely forever change the production of battery cells.




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