We are surprised Panasonic decided to start Tesla's 4680 battery cell production in Japan. This can be because of several reasons. But before I get to it, let me, first, tell you what Torque News learned yesterday.
As Torque News reported yesterday, Panasonic will expand its own plant in Wakayama, Japan, for the mass production of the new 4680 cells. A Panasonic spokesman confirmed to the Wall Street Journal in October 2021 that test production of the 4680 batteries should begin in March 2022. However, according to t3n , officials at the company declined to confirm the current report to Reuters: "We are investigating various options for mass production, including a test production line that we will set up this fiscal year," Reuters quoted a Panasonic spokesman as saying. "However, we have nothing further to announce at this time."
Torque News EV news contributor Dean McManis explains why we are surprised.
"I was surprised to see that Panasonic decided to start production of their 4680 batteries in Japan. Perhaps Tesla's longer term plans with Giga Nevada is to phase out the Panasonic 2170 production over the next 5-7 years and start building their own 4680 batteries there. Certainly well before then Tesla's battery factories in Giga Texas and Giga Berlin will have production fully ramped up. For right now Kato rd in Fremont is the only place producing the 4680 battery in bulk. And because of circumstances in Europe, those produced 4680s will be put in new Model Y's build in Texas. It is good news to hear that the 4680 production is being ramped up enough to be the basis for the new Gen II Model Y, and I'm eager to see how the new Model Y performs with the structural battery case and 4680s."
We also had a very interesting comment from a Torque News Youtube follower Frank Woodman JR, who writes "Tesla continues to develop its battery supply and insure its ability to have a robust and reliable source of the massive battery numbers they will need to meet their production needs. Most of the other EV manufactures simply don't have their battery supplies ready for the demands increasing production will require. This is one of many advantages Tesla has over other manufacturers."
Do you think Tesla may be phasing out Panasonic from Nevada Gigafactory as part of its longer term plans?
Armen Hareyan is the founder and the Editor in Chief of Torque News. He founded TorqueNews.com in 2010, which since then has been publishing expert news and analysis about the automotive industry. He can be reached at Torque News Twitter, Facebok, Linkedin and Youtube.