The increasing pace of Tesla Model 3 production is applying pressure to the lithium-ion battery production at the Gigafactory and Panasonic hints now at occasional battery cell shortages.

The Japanese manufacturer is responsible for production of the 2170 cells for the Model 3 and energy storage systems (Powerpack and Powerwall) at the Gigafactory.

Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3

"Yoshio Ito, head of Panasonic’s automotive business, told the company’s general shareholders meeting on Thursday there had been a “sharp improvement in production” that was leading to occasional battery (cell) shortages."

The production rate of 5,000 Model 3 a week would require roughly 400 MWh of batteries every seven days or more than 20 GWh a year, on top of demand for ESS. But the output will of course not stop at 20 GWh as production of the Model 3 is expected to eventually be at least twice as high (10,000 a week) than the 5,000 target for the end of June.

The number of those small cylindrical cells will be surging into the billions pretty quickly if Tesla pulls off what it hopes for.

Previously, Panasonic was idling a little bit as the early Model 3 ramp-up was months behind the schedule.

“I wouldn’t say the delay (in Tesla’s Model 3 production) had no impact on our business, but we are in close communications with Tesla and working to steadily improve production,” Ito said.

Source: Reuters