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Asian Partners Help Tesla Address 4680 Battery Issues

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Asian Partners Help Tesla Address 4680 Battery Issues

(CTN News) – In an effort to cut costs, Tesla has contracted with China’s Ningbo Ronbay New Energy and Suzhou Dongshan Precision Manufacturing to produce 4680 battery cells in the United States.

Details of these arrangements have not previously been disclosed.

As long as Austin, Texas-based EV maker works out the performance and production kinks and meets its ambitious production targets, the 4680 could end up being the key to Musk’s dream of making 20 million cars a year by 2030.

We couldn’t get a hold of Tesla or Musk. Tesla has also teamed up with Korea’s L&F Co to supply high-nickel cathodes that could boost its 4680 cell’s energy density, one source said.

According to two sources, the automaker wants to boost production with 4680 cells from LG Energy Solution and Panasonic – an insurance policy for EVs in the future.

Cybertruck’s cells are expected to come from LG and Panasonic, a source said. In early March, Musk told investors “the factories stall” because of a battery shortage. With the new battery, the company plans to launch its first new model in more than three years, the edgy, stainless-steel Cybertruck, later this year.

To make sure the launch doesn’t get delayed again, Tesla considered three battery options: smaller 2170 cells found in other Tesla models, 4680 cells, and less expensive lithium iron phosphate cells, but the EV maker chose to wait until 4680 cells are ready.

Tesla’s Cybertruck battery strategy hasn’t been revealed, including the use of 4680 cells. According to Musk, 4680 batteries won’t be a limiting factor for Cybertruck or anything else in 2022.

Future production plans depend on the Tesla-designed 4680 cell, so named for its external dimensions (46mm diameter, 80mm length).

Model Y to Cybertruck will use versions made at Tesla factories in Texas, California, Nevada and Berlin, sources said. However, Musk acknowledged at Tesla’s investor day on March 1 that the company is still struggling to ramp up production.

Tesla’s impact is underestimated

Analysts remain optimistic Tesla will solve these problems. Morgan Stanley says Tesla’s impact on the global battery industry may still be underestimated despite execution risk and a lot of unknowns.

In September 2020, Musk announced the new cell.

Through a series of innovations, he promised to cut cell costs by 50%, from a larger cell size to a “dry” electrode coating that could dramatically reduce the size and cost of battery factories.

As a result of repeated delays in moving the new cell to full-scale production, the long-awaited Cybertruck has been pushed back too. It was meant to take advantage of the cell’s potential improvements in energy density and power – advances that haven’t happened yet.

It’ll take time for suppliers to ramp up.

A 4680 production line is running at Panasonic’s Wakayama factory in Japan, and volume production will start later in 2024. Panasonic Energy’s chief technology officer said last month the Kansas battery plant will initially make 2170 cells, but will eventually make 4680 cells in North America.

LG said last year it planned to open a 4680 production line at its Ochang plant in Korea. Tesla’s first-generation 4680 cells, built at its Fremont, California, factory, didn’t hit energy density targets, sources say.


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