Tesla increases 4680 cell production capacities

Image: Tesla

Tesla can now equip around 1,000 vehicles per week with its new 4680 battery cells. At the end of December, Tesla said it achieved a production rate of 868,000 4680 cells in one week – enough for said approximately 1,000 electric cars.

Tesla has very rarely commented on 4680 cell production figures in the past. In February 2022, it was confirmed that a total of one million 4680 cells had already been built. Since then, there have only been statements about the percentage increase, but no actual production rate.

Apart from the current tweet, there is also no further statement from Tesla. It is unclear whether the 868,000 cells built within a week only refer to the Kato pilot line near the car factory in Fremont, California, or also to the 4680 production at Giga Texas in Austin.

It is unclear how far production of the 4680 battery cells has progressed at the Gigafactory Texas. In July 2022, Tesla had announced its intention to exceed the capacity of the Kato pilot line there by the end of 2022. Currently, however, there is no further statement on the status in Texas.

Tesla is building the 4680 round cells (46 millimetres in diameter, 80 millimetres high) into the Model Y, for example, which is being built at Giga Texas. In parallel to the model with the 4680-based structural battery pack, however, Model Y variants with conventional battery pack and 2170 cells will continue to be built in Austin – as 4680 production is not sufficient to fill the vehicle production line.

The larger 4680 cells will also be used in the Tesla Semi electric truck and the upcoming Roadster 2. Therefore, how quickly Tesla can scale its own 4680 production will be important for the production of these models. The 4680 cells will also be sourced from suppliers, but when this will happen in large quantities is an open question. Tesla’s battery partner Panasonic manufactures 4680 cells on a pilot line in Japan, but series production is to take place in North America – presumably at a new plant in Kansas, which is not due to be completed until March 2025.