Tesla’s battery partner Panasonic is planning to increase their production capacity at the Gigafactory 1 in Nevada by around 30%. The move is designed to keep pace with Tesla’s rather ambitious expansion plans.
The plan is to install three new production lines by the end of this year, which would increase the total to 13. That would allow Panasonic to produce battery cells with a total capacity of 35 GWh for Tesla, which would meet the demand for the current Model 3 production targets. The production target for the end of June of 5,000 vehicles per week was only met because Panasonic was able to redistribute battery cells that were actually meant for Tesla’s home energy storage systems.
Expansion in the battery sector is greatly needed to meet Tesla’s production goals. Particularly, since the targets were updated again: By the end of the year, Tesla wants 7,000 vehicles rolling off the production line per week, and by the middle of 2019, the number is set at 10,000.
Update 02.08.2018: Panasonic’s energy business has noted a loss in the time period April-June of 8.4 billion Yen (75 million dollars), particularly in the area of battery production. The main reason cited is the major production expansion in the Gigafactory. According to head of finance Hirokazu Umeda, Panasonic expects the increasing Model 3 production to push the venture into profit.