After reports surfaced last month that LG is getting ready to produce Tesla’s new 4680 battery cell in at its Ochang factory in South Korea, a new report from Reuters is suggesting the South Korean manufacturer is hoping to receive its first order and start production in 2023.
There is no deal confirmed yet, but LG has apparently already made samples of the 4680 cells according to an undisclosed, unofficial source who also said that production of the cells will require the company to jump some “technological hurdles”: “The Korean supplier, a unit of LG Chem, has made samples for the so-called 4680 large-format cylindrical cells, said the sources, who asked not to be identified. It faces technological hurdles and the challenge of scaling up production, people familiar with the matter said.”
Tesla has made its needs for battery cell supply very known since its Battery Day event last year. Upon introducing its new in-house tabless 4680 battery cell during the event, Tesla CEO Elon Musk reiterated that Tesla will continue to secure as much battery supply from other manufacturers as possible. Tesla has even been in talks about investing in new manufacturing plants in the U.S. and in Europe in order to produce enough battery supply for future EV production.
LG Chem’s LG Energy Solution isn’t the only manufacturer interested in producing a suppling Tesla’s new 4680 cells. Panasonic is also working on its pilot production line, while Tesla has its own pilot production line in California.
Tesla’s new 4680 cell is a bigger than Tesla’s previous cells and has a tabless design that will decrease the time of charging. Additionally, the new form factor of the cell makes it six times more powerful with up to five times the energy capacity than the company’s previous cells. Given its name, the new cell is 46mm by 80mm.