Tesla unveiled its new in-house tabless 4680 battery cell last September during its Battery Day event. The automaker also announced its plans to produce it, but reassured they will continue to secure as much battery supply from other manufacturers as possible.
According to Tesla CEO Elon Musk: “The reason Tesla is doing its own cell production is in order to accelerate the growth. It is not to make less use of our cell suppliers. In fact, I want to be really clear Tesla wants to increase purchases from cell suppliers. And we’ve been very clear with our cell suppliers, whether it be CATL or Panasonic or LG, that we will take as many batteries as they can produce, so — and we urge them to increase their production and we will buy as much as they can send to us.”
This of course isn’t the first company that we have heard will be producing battery cells for the EV giant. Panasonic announced plans to produce the Tesla 4680 cell itself last year and recently confirmed that it will begin to set up production at Tesla’s Gigafactory Nevada later this year.
South Korean reports are suggesting that LG’s ochang factory is receiving a new pilot production line for the cell: “LG energy solutions has recently begun to build a pilot production line for Tesla 4680 batteries, according to the elec, a South Korean media report. It is currently transforming some production lines in its ochang plant, and the assembly and electroplating equipment have been installed. LG is likely to invest millions of dollars in the line, a figure comparable to rival Panasonic, which is also preparing pilot production for Tesla’s Suminoe plant in Osaka, according to people familiar with the matter. LG aims to complete the pilot line before Panasonic starts mass production of batteries.”
Although Panasonic has confirmed they will begin to setup production late this year, actual production isn’t slated to begin until April 2022. If this timeline is stuck to and the reports are in fact true, LG may beat Panasonic to the punch.
Tesla is working to deploy full-scale production of its new tabless 4680 battery cell at Gigafactory Berlin and Gigafactory Texas. The EV giant is also building the new cells at its own pilot production plant in Fremont.