The levers available for Tesla to pull, in order to maintain their ambitious mission at a time when all other auto manufacturers are flailing, is inspiring by comparison.
It will take time for suppliers to ramp up production of 4680s. Nonetheless, taking into account remarks on Tesla’s Q3 Conference Call, I believe there will be enough 4680s as not to limit production of Tesla automobiles.
Q3 Tesla CC, QnA
…update on the 4680 cell, particularly progress towards performance improvements and cost savings outlined on Battery Day? Thank you.
Unidentified Company Representative
“Sure thing, Martin. 4680 cell production in Texas increased 40% quarter-over-quarter. Congrats to the Texas team for producing their 20 million cell off of line one. Texas is now our primary 4680 facility. We’re heavily focused on quality. Scrap is down 40% quarter-over-quarter. With the increased volume and yield improvements, cell costs consistently improved month-over-month within the quarter, although we have a lot more work to do to achieve our steady state goals. And that is our priority.”
“The Cybertruck cell with 10% higher energy than our Model Y cell started production on line two in Texas. This quarter we convert to building a 100% Cybertruck cells to simplify and focus the factory as we ramp all four lines in Phase 1 over the next three quarters. Phase 2 of the Texas 4680 facility is currently under construction. The additional four lines incorporate further capital efficiencies over Phase 1, and our target is for them to start producing in late 2024.”
“Lastly, in Kato, we’re retooling to enable large scale pallet runs of our next generation cell designs. Kato’s long-term goal is to be the launch pad for new cells, one generation ahead of our mass production facilities, enabling faster iteration and smoother ramp ups of new designs.”
Other than the Earnings Report being a uniquely sober look at the challenges Tesla has always had throughout the 13 years they’ve been a public company, nothing material has changed at Tesla other than better margins than expected for MegaPacks.
Additional data points for why I believe battery supply is not a concern at this time, see below (sorry if some of the video and pictures don’t download for reference).
Panasonic is running a pilot 4680 production line at its Wakayama factory in Japan, and plans to start volume production later in the fiscal year that ends in March 2024.
Shoichiro Watanabe, chief technology officer of Panasonic Energy, last month said the company’s new Kansas battery plant will focus initially on 2170 cells, but it will eventually shift 4680 production to North America.
Last year, LG said it planned to open a new 4680 production line at its Ochang plant in Korea in the second half of 2023
Exclusive: Tesla taps Asian partners to address 4680 battery concerns
Tesla Supplier CATL Weighs Sites for $5 Billion Battery Plant
In the US, ‘opened and currently ramping now’.
If you’ve ever wondered “Who makes Tesla batteries?”, the answer is chiefly Panasonic, although CATL is a key Tesla car battery manufacturer, due to the fact the two companies have agreed to produce lithium-ion batteries together at Tesla’s second “battery megafactory” next door to Giga Shanghai.
Who builds batteries for electric cars? EV battery manufacturers explained
This battery plant was built some 100 meters from the Tesla Gigafactory in Shanghai because Tesla is by far their largest customer.
CATL is not only the largest battery company in the world, in August they announced what is now being built…
The LFP is the cheapest and most easy scaled up, and now is capable of 4C charging.
I was under the impression that Giga-Shanghai was already getting 4680s from CATL, albeit the wet chemistry of the first iterations. But, I wasn’t able to find my original source material on that.
The first half of this just released video is all about Tesla battery supply. The main point is the CATL factory built and up and running with massive rate of production, again right neck to door to Tesla Shanghai. The commentators explain, at least to my satisfaction, that battery supply will meet current production goals (including the 2 Million cars this year and the ramping Cyber truck up to 20k/ month by mid 2025).