Panasonic is working on a new battery pack that will be based on the recently unveiled Tesla 4680 battery and will feature fast-charging capability.
Panasonic's manufacturing capacity at their joint venture with Tesla in Giga Nevada is enormous. Panasonic produces millions of battery cells every day. At the moment, the factory has:
- 8 Coating lines: 32 die heads, 46 press machines, 48 slitters
- 13 Assembly lines including 3 high-speed lines: 198 winding machines
- 13 Top Cap production lines
- 7 Formation lines: Panasonic can fill more than 19k formation trays per day
Celina Mikolajczak, vice president of battery technology at Panasonic Energy of North America (PENA), spoke at the Stanford StorageX International Symposium and revealed the company's innovation roadmap:
- Converting lines now to increase energy density by 5% with excellent fast charge performance.
- Roadmap for continued cobalt reduction, and ultimately a cobalt-free design
- Energy density expected to improve by more than 20% within the next 5 years.
"Right now we are converting lines to increase energy density. It's a great new cell that is going to be ready soon. It got excellent fast charge performance with that increased energy density which is really exciting. We have a roadmap for continuous reduction of cobalt and ultimately we plan to make a cobalt-free design, which is difficult to do, but we hope to achieve this shortly and also continue to increase the energy density," Mikolajczak said.
At the end of October, Panasonic CFO Hirokazu Umeda said the company has the know-how for the new battery and is preparing to launch a prototype production line. Additional Panasonic manufacturing facilities will open at Gigafacotry Nevada next year. The new line will increase the plant's capacity by about 10 percent by 2022.
"We have considerable know-how for that battery," said Umeda. "We started working on it immediately after Tesla's Battery Day and are also preparing to set up a prototype production line in parallel."
Tesla Partner Panasonic Already Developing 4680-based Cell to Meet Tesla’s Battery Needshttps://t.co/3Y5ywnfQ0X— Tesmanian.com (@Tesmanian_com) October 29, 2020
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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.