After pushing Panasonic to speed up development of their 4680 battery cell, the Japanese electronics giant started large-scale prototype production this month and this week sent samples of the new cells to Tesla.
Kazuo Tadanobu, CEO of the Panasonic’s energy business that makes car and industrial batteries announced the milestone at the company’s annual investor event on Wednesday.
“A pilot line, created first in Japan, made it possible to start large-scale prototype production in May,” said Tadanobu. (via Reuters)
Panasonic has previously said it intends to begin mass production of Tesla’s 4680 cells at its Wakayama factory in western Japan before the end of March 2023. Tadanobu reiterated that timeline.
The company is also considering opening an EV battery plant in the US to supply Tesla with the new cells. As we reported earlier this month, Panasonic is considering multiple sites in Oklahoma and Kansas.
Panasonic and Tesla jointly run a battery plant at Giga Nevada. The battery plant produces around 39 gigawatt-hours (GWh) a year after its latest expansion.
Tesla is already producing 4680 cells at Giga Texas which are being used in Model Ys made at the factory. Deliveries of the Model Y Standard Range have already started with employees, and deliveries to the general public are expected to begin very soon.
Tesla begins offering existing Model Y reservation holders in Austin the option to switch to the Standard Range for faster delivery