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Panasonic is to Improve Efficiency in Nevada Gigafactory 1

Panasonic’s battery for EV. Photo: https://www.na.panasonic.com/

Panasonic is reported to increase production in Nevada Gigafactory 1 at 10 percent by improving the efficiency of manufacturing. This site is operated by Tesla and Panasonic to produce batteries for Model 3 and Model Y. By doing so, the capacity will increase from 39 Gwh to 43 Gwh, which is equivalent to a production line.

There were rumors that Panasonic wanted to set up the second plant in Kansas in the United States to provide Tesla Texas with 4680 battery cells in March. In July, the rumors were confirmed and the factory is not expected to be operational until 2024. Tesla’s growing demands have inspired the Japanese battery maker to upgrade its production line in Gigafactory 1. This goal is to be achieved by other means rather than adding a new production line. To this end, Panasonic is planning to send its product managers from Japan to Nevada. In addition, it is reported that the material will experience a slight change. No concrete measures are mentioned in the plan.

2170 battery cells will be the main increase in the factory. Panasonic makes the battery cells there with the new form factor ’2170′, jointly designed and engineered by Tesla and Panasonic and subsequently updated. They are larger than the 18650 cells used in the Model S and Model X automobiles. While the new cells were originally expected to be at least 20 mm in diameter and 70 mm in length, revised specifications for the optimized form factor are 21 mm by 70 mm. As a result, Tesla refers to it as a 2170 battery cell.

Panasonic’s efforts to efficiency improvement will beef up the supply of 2170 cells equipped on Model 3 and Model Y this year. In the second quarter earnings conference call, “It is worth emphasizing that we have enough 2170 cells to satisfy all vehicle production for the remainder of the year. So we’re not dependent on 4680. The 4680 cells will be important next year, but it is not important for this year”Elon Musk said.

Panasonic intends to strike a balance before its new US plant is eligible for making 4680 cells as it has been one of the most experienced battery suppliers of Tesla. With significant battery production and numerous engineers at its Osaka plant, Panasonic conceives a blueprint to raise its US-based factory production capacity to that of the domestic one. At present, the Japanese manufacturer has initialized its pilot program to produce 4680 battery cells and delivered the first sample cells to Tesla.

It is an effort to kill two birds with one stone, Panasonic can improve battery production to meet the growing demands from Tesla and other customers, and manage to expand its global presence as it fights off the competition from its Asian peers CATL and LG Energy Solutions.

Post time: Aug-29-2022