Samsung Is Setting Up 4680 Battery Production Line For Tesla And BMW
Tesla first announced the next generation 4680 batteries at the company’s Battery Day event held in September 2020.
At the event, Tesla laid out several breakthroughs when added together which amount to a 54% increase in vehicle range, a 56% reduction in cost per kilowatt-hour, and a 69% reduction in capital expenditure.
Currently, Tesla is producing the 4680 cells from its experimental facility in Keto Road, California. And the new cells have also started shipping inside the refreshed Model Y produced at Giga Texas.
According to Tesla, the 4680 cells hold a lot of promise however, the EV maker has been facing difficulties ramping up production of the new batteries.
According to insider leaks, Tesla’s Keto Road facility after a year of production has only managed to produce enough cells to power a little more than 1000 vehicles. This is in stark contrast to the facility's theoretical annual capacity of 10GWh or enough for around 100,000 vehicles.
However, as Tesla is facing challenges ramping up production, the EV maker has also tapped other manufacturers to build the 4680 cells.
As of now, Tesla’s battery suppliers Panasonic and LG Chem have announced they are working on the new cell format. And today, according to insider sources who talked to TheElec we learned that Tesla’s other battery supplier, Samsung SDI, is also working on 4680 cells.
According to TheElec “Samsung SDI was preparing a pilot line at its Cheonan plant in South Korea to test batteries it will be supplying to Tesla. The batteries are 4680 cylinder batteries (46mm diameter, 80mm length) and the South Korean battery firm will verify the technology within the year.”
TheElec also said Samsung is working on a second line to supply batteries to BMW. However, these batteries have a slightly different form factor with 46cm diameter and less than 80cm height.
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According to the South Korean publication the initial pilot line “has an annual capacity slightly below 1GWh with 20ppm production speed. The aim is to increase production speed to between 200 to 300ppm, which will equal between 8GWh to 12GWh to annual production capacity.”
12GWh is enough capacity to produce more than 100,000 vehicles a year however, TheElec says Samsung plans to go even beyond and will likely move mass production to the company’s battery plant in Seremban, Malaysia.
This is exciting and will certainly help Tesla’s plan to increase vehicle production by several folds. As of now, we don’t know the extent of Tesla and Samsung’s 4680 cell production plans. However, we will be sure to keep you posted as we learn more about the deal.
Until then, make sure to visit our site torquenews.com/Tesla regularly for the latest updates.
So what do you think? Excited Tesla has added yet another company to produce the 4680 cells? Also, how do you feel about Samsung sharing the 4680 cell technology with BMW? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Image: Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.
For more information check out: Tesla Starts Selling Long Range Giga Texas Built Refreshed Model Y With 4680 Cells For A 9.5K Discount
Tinsae Aregay has been following Tesla and The evolution of the EV space on a daily basis for several years. He covers everything about Tesla from the cars to Elon Musk, the energy business, and autonomy. Follow Tinsae on Twitter at @TinsaeAregay for daily Tesla news.