Tesla, in partnership with Panasonic, today announced the start of mass production of lithium-ion battery cells at the highly touted Gigafactory in Nevada. The battery cells will be used in Tesla’s energy storage products as well as the Tesla Model 3 EV.
Tesla needs batteries for everything that it builds, from its cars to its home energy storage products, so the launch of large-scale production is a major event in Tesla’s timeline.
“The high performance cylindrical “2170 cell” was jointly designed and engineered by Tesla and Panasonic to offer the best performance at the lowest production cost in an optimal form factor for both electric vehicles and energy products.
Production of 2170 cells for qualification started in December and today, production begins on cells that will be used in Tesla’s Powerwall 2 and Powerpack 2 energy products. Model 3 cell production will follow in Q2 and by 2018, the Gigafactory will produce 35 GWh/year of lithium-ion battery cells, nearly as much as the rest of the entire world’s battery production combined.”
Tesla is targeting 2018 to get its Gigafactory to full capacity, with plans to build 500,000 electric cars per year by 2018, an estimate that was revised from 2020 after the overwhelming response the company got in the form of reservations for its Model 3, which Tesla CEO Elon Musk reported at 373,000 in May, but is estimated to be quite a bit more since then.
At full capacity, the Gigafactory will have to feed not only the demand for Model 3s, but also Tesla’s Powerwall storage solutions.
Without producing batteries on such a massive scale Tesla will never be able to meet the demand it has already created in the market.
Tesla has joined hands with Panasonic, which has invested $1.6 billion of its own in the Gigafactory and has confirmed that they are ready to increase the investment to $3.9 billion if requested by Tesla to do so.
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