Panasonic to quickly make new batteries for Tesla, might ‘cut back’ EV costs: report

Panasonic to soon make new batteries for Tesla, could ‘reduce’ EV prices: report


Panasonic mentioned it’s going to produce a brand new and improved model of the 2170 cells utilized in Tesla Mannequin 3 and Mannequin Y on the plant in Nevada that it operates with Tesla “someday throughout 2024 or 2025,” in line with a brand new report in Bloomberg. The brand new cells, which pack much more power density, might assist cut back EV costs, the corporate states.

Panasonic CTO Shoichiro Watanabe informed Bloomberg in an interview that the Japan-based electronics maker goals to ship on its promise to “quadruple manufacturing capability by the 2030 fiscal yr.” And to make that occur, he mentioned the corporate gained’t have to depend on constructing new factories or pouring giant investments into manufacturing plans.

“We’ll increase battery capability and enhance productiveness on the similar time,” Watanabe informed Bloomberg.

Panasonic, whose predominant US buyer is Tesla, produces some 10% of the batteries present in electrical automobiles world wide. The corporate plans to start out producing a revised model of its 2170-type cylindrical battery cells, which Tesla makes use of in its Mannequin 3 and Mannequin Y automobiles, and improve its battery manufacturing output by 10%. Panasonic has been working to extend the power density of the 2170 cell, with Watanabe saying that the brand new enhancements might assist cut back the general price of an EV, Bloomberg studies. Presumably higher power density means fewer cells can be wanted to provide a automobile, which might cut back the general value.

Panasonic is presently constructing a brand new manufacturing unit of 2170-type cells for EVs in De Soto, Kansas, its second in North America. The plant is a $4 billion venture with an preliminary output of 30 GWh/yr. In 2022, it was anticipated that the manufacturing unit can be designated for the brand new and bigger 4680-type cylindrical battery cells, that are thicker and extra voluminous, for Tesla’s next-gen fashions, however Panasonic delayed that venture.

A 3rd US battery manufacturing plant ought to be introduced quickly, with the corporate pledging to boost its manufacturing capability to 200 GWh by 2030 from its present restrict of fifty GWh. Whereas there may be nonetheless no phrase on the situation of this plant, doubtless to herald hundreds of jobs, Panasonic did flip down almost $700 million in state incentives to construct in Oklahoma. 

Earlier in December, Panasonic introduced its settlement to buy nano-composite silicon anode materials from Sila, a California-based firm cofounded in 2011 by one among Tesla’s early staff. Sila’s Titan Silicon anode powder, as Wired studies, “consists of micrometer-sized particles of nano-structured silicon and replaces graphite in conventional lithium-ion batteries.” Swapping it out doesn’t require any new manufacturing processes, and utilizing this in EVs  “might quickly allow 500-mile nonstop journeys and 10-minute recharges.” That is all reasonably promising stuff.

The Biden administration’s Inflation Discount, which provides subsidies to battery cell manufacturing within the US, has been an enormous boon to firms like Panasonic to construct and manufacture in North America. Bloomberg cites that Panasonic forecasts a $587 million improve in operation through the fiscal yr that ends March 2024. 

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