Panasonic has delivered the first sample cells of the new 4680 format to Tesla. The large round cells were built on a Panasonic pilot line in Japan. The company is still looking for a location for the planned US production.
According to Kazuo Tadanobu, CEO of Panasonic Energy, prototype production for the 4680 cells began in May on the pilot line at the plant in Wakayama Prefecture, Japan. At an investor day, Tadanobu spoke of a “large-scale prototype production”, but gave no further details about the cells or the volumes currently being produced.
Mass production of the new cells in Japan is scheduled to start in March 2023, after which they will be moved to North America. Panasonic wants to buy land in either Oklahoma or Kansas for a “mega-factory” to produce the new 4680 cells for Tesla. This information dates from early March. According to statements made by two insiders to Reuters, the company is still examining possible locations in the two US states.
According to the latest information, it is even possible that both Oklahoma and Kansas will be considered sooner or later: According to a new report by the Japanese news agency Kyodo News, Panasonic is even planning to build several new factories in North America to quadruple its production of battery cells for electric cars by fiscal 2028.
For fiscal 2023, Panasonic expects sales of energy storage devices to increase by ten per cent. However, due to high investments and increased material costs, Reuters predicts that operating profit will fall by more than a fifth.
– ADVERTISEMENT –