It seems that Tesla might be aiming to produce its own battery cells at its European plant in Brandenburg. Among other indications, this impression was given by job advertisements for the planned Gigafactory 4.
The German online publication Teslamag formulated this thesis based on job advertisements for Gigafactory 4. In one position posting, applicants should be able to create “innovative detailed designs for a wide range of systems from electrolytes to high-purity water”.
The logic behind the assumption is fairly straight forward: If Tesla only wanted to process already-supplied cells (or cells manufactured by Panasonic in the same building) into battery pack in the Gigafactory 4, the know-how in electrolytes and ultrapure water would not be necessary. “In this respect, both formulations clearly indicate that Tesla in Germany not only wants to manufacture electric cars and battery packs but also the individual cells for them,” concludes Teslamag.
In addition, a person involved in “the planning of the plant in Germany in an advisory capacity” apparently told Teslamag that there would be another interesting surprise, but declined to give further information.
The rumours about Tesla’s own cell production have been persistent. At the Annual General Meeting last summer, Elon Musk and CTO Drew Baglino made some highly suggestive statements, such as that Tesla had secured important technologies for “cost and scalability of cell production” with the takeover of Maxwell Technologies. Baglino had also said that a solution to the battery shortage was in place. There have also been reports that Tesla is looking for more battery experts in California.
Many industry observers have previously assumed that Tesla’s cell production would be built up in the USA. However, should the report prove correct, Germany would also be in the running.
teslamag.de (in German)