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Panasonic will reportedly begin mass production of next-generation Tesla batteries in 2023

Panasonic will begin mass production of next-generation lithium-ion batteries for Tesla as early as 2023, with five times the energy capacity of existing models. a report of Nikkei Asia. Although the batteries are primarily manufactured for Tesla, a Panasonic director did not rule out the possibility of supplying them to other companies in the future. November interview. The new batteries promise to extend the range of electric cars and make them more affordable to manufacture and sell.

In a statement given to Reuters, Panasonic declined to confirm Nikkei’s report. “We are studying several options for mass production, including a test production line that we are setting up this fiscal year,” the company said. “At the moment, however, we have nothing to announce.”

Nikkei reports that the larger, higher-capacity batteries — known as 4680 battery cells because they measure 46mm x 80mm — could increase the range of electric vehicles by about 20 percent, while Tesla itself sees an increase in range. of 16 percent. They could take a car like its flagship Model S and increase its range from 650 km (about 404 miles) to 750 km (about 465 miles), according to Nikkei. Panasonic is reportedly expanding its factory in Wakayama, Japan to mass-produce the new batteries, and sooner told the Wall Street Journal that test production should start in March 2022.

The next-generation battery cells were described by Tesla at a high-profile event in September 2020. In addition to their higher storage capacity, the company’s CEO Elon Musk said the cells are six times more powerful and cut costs per kWh by 14 percent (batteries). are estimated to account for 30 percent of the cost of an electric vehicle). Lower prices and longer range are the kinds of improvements that are essential to make electric cars more attractive, such as: Nikkei notes.

The focus of Tesla’s 2020 event was the company’s efforts to manufacture the batteries in-house, to mitigate potential disruptions from relying on third-party suppliers such as Panasonic. But in a series of tweets posted ahead of the event, Musk said the company would continue to buy battery cells from other companies. “We intend to increase, not decrease, battery cell purchases from Panasonic, LG and CATL,” Musk tweeted, adding that Tesla is unlikely to achieve large-scale production of the cells until 2022.

During more recent earnings talks, Musk has reiterated that he expects Tesla’s in-house production of the 4680 cells to begin in 2022 and that the first vehicles equipped with these cells will ship the same year. in a April 2021 earnings callMusk indicated that the company was 12 to 18 months away from mass production of the new cells. In July, however, he warned that “prototype production is easy, but high-volume production is difficult”. the WSJ notes.

The status of Tesla’s new battery cells will likely be mentioned during the company’s upcoming earnings call on Wednesday, Jan. 26, when Musk also said he’s making an official announcement.product roadmap update” for the Cybertruck after reports of the delay until early 2023.

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