Panasonic 4680 battery prototype unveiled, production to begin next year

For the first time Panasonic unveiled their prototype 4680 battery cell during a media roundtable on Monday in Tokyo, Japan.

The company said the battery development will strengthen their ties with Tesla, which first unveiled the battery last year.

“We have developed this because of the strong desire of the other party, and we think this can only lead to stronger ties,” Panasonic CEO Kazuo Tadanobu said.

Tadanobu said Panasonic plans to launch trial production of the 4680 cell in Japan by March 2022.

In October last year Panasonic said they were developing a pilot production line, and had begun development work on the 4680 battery cell immediately after it was announced at Battery Day.

Tesla’s breakthrough battery is much larger than the ones found in their EVs today. The increased size will result in 5X more energy, 16% more range, and 6X more power in future vehicles.

With the increases in performance and range, the cost per kWh to produce the 4680 battery is also expected to be greatly reduced.

Tesla launches significant hiring spree for 4680 battery cell pilot production line in Fremont

During the press briefing, Tadanobu also said Panasonic has no plans to start manufacturing lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries.

Tesla currently receives their LFP batteries from CATL, while they are also rumoured to have recently signed a similar deal with BYD.

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