For his growth plans with electric cars and stationary power storage, Tesla CEO Elon Musk needs so many battery cells that he has developed his own Type 4680 and wants to produce it himself. However, this is definitely only intended as a supplement to the batteries of suppliers, Musk repeatedly made clear after presenting his own plans. With CATL, LG Energy Solutions and Panasonic, all three previous Tesla partners have shown interest in starting 4680 production. As is now reported, LG Energy has already produced some test cells in the new format for Tesla and plans to start on a larger scale from 2023.
New US factory from LG for Tesla?
Since last summer, Tesla itself has been building a large-scale pilot production facility for the 4680 cells alongside the Fremont electric car plant, which is expected to have an annual capacity of 10 gigawatt hours by the end of this year. According to CEO Musk, the first large-scale series production of its own batteries is planned for the German Gigafactory near Berlin; Cell production is also planned for the gigafactory near Austin in the USA, which is developing at a similar speed.
LG Energy Solutions belonged to LG Chem until the end of 2020 and was then spun off under the new name. The company was most recently again the largest cell manufacturer in the world and won Tesla as a customer for Model 3 from the Gigafactory in China. Last week, LG Energy announced that it was planning a new cell factory in the USA, but did not name any customers. The news agency Reuters has now delivered: Hoping for Tesla, she reported, citing industry circles.
Panasonic confirmed 4680 pilot line
There should not yet be a contract with Tesla that goes beyond China deliveries, but according to the report, LG Energy wants to produce the new 4680 cells as early as 2023 and is reviewing locations in the USA and Europe. Some samples of it have already been made. However, serial production would still be hampered by technical obstacles and the difficult upscaling. LG Energy is able to take such risks, a source said.
Tesla’s first battery partner, Panasonic, had already announced that it was preparing specifically for a 4680 production for Tesla. Whether there is already a contract is open, however. According to its chief financial officer, the company will initially set up a 4680 pilot line in Japan.