Tesla 4680 battery cell production has passed some significant milestones, but there is still work to do

Tesla 4680 battery production line

Ahead of the Q2 2021 earnings call this afternoon, Tesla has provided an update on the development of their new 4680 battery cells and some significant milestones that have been already been achieved.

First unveiled at the Battery Day event last year, the 4680 battery cell is set to considerably change the electric vehicle (EV) battery landscape. Not only does it provide 5x more energy, 16% more range, and 6x more power, it will also much cheaper to produce than conventional lithium-ion batteries.

Tesla 4680 battery cell

Even before it was unveiled, Tesla was producing the new cells at their Roadrunner facility on Kato Rd, just steps away from their Fremont car factory.

Today the automaker updated us on their progress at their in-house facility, saying they have successfully validated some key metrics for the new battery.

“We have successfully validated performance and lifetime of our 4680 cells produced at our Kato facility in California. We are nearing the end of manufacturing validation at Kato: field quality and yield are at viable levels, and our focus is now on improving the 10% of manufacturing processes that currently bottleneck production output.”

Another important aspect of the 4680 battery cell for Tesla is that it will be integrated with the vehicle itself and be part of a structural battery pack with single-piece front and rear castings. Tesla also provided an update on the progress of that, noting crash testing of the pack has been successfully completed.

“Internal crash testing of our structural pack architecture with a single-piece front casting has been successful.”

Even with the positive news, Tesla says there is still work to do before they can reach volume production of 4680 battery cells. Earlier this year the company said they were aiming to have a production capacity of 10GWh before the end of the year.

“While substantial progress has been made, we still have work ahead of us before we can achieve volume production.”

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