Earlier this year Panasonic announced it was working with Tesla to develop a new production line for the automaker’s new 4680 battery cell.
Panasonic’s Chief Financial Officer Hirokazu Umeda revealed at the time the company began work on the project immediately after Tesla’s Battery Day event in September.
According to a new report by Nikkei Asia, Panasonic could begin production of the 4680 cell as early as next year. The production line will be built at one of Panasonic’s existing facilities, with the project costing tens of millions of dollars.
This doesn’t mean Tesla is handing over all production to Panasonic. When Tesla unveiled the new battery, they also showed off their pilot production line just down the road from the Fremont factory. Industry experts are expecting demand to exceed Tesla’s capacity, so Panasonic is partnering to pick up some of the manufacturing.
First unveiled at Battery Day in September by CEO Elon Musk, the 4680 battery cell is larger resulting in 5X more energy, 16X more range, and 6X more power than current battery technology.