It was really only a matter of time before Tesla would begin making its own battery cells, without the help of Panasonic. Clearly, the automaker wants to have its hands on everything — all in-house — and doesn't want to have to count on others in the future. If successful, manufacturing its own battery cells is a smart step toward the future due to the current battery cell shortage.
Tesla is the only automaker with its own battery factory — Gigafactory 1 in Sparks, Nevada. The automaker runs the massive facility with the help of Panasonic. However, Panasonic has its hands in many other projects and may not be partnered with Tesla forever.
Even with the Gigafactory, as well as the help of Panasonic, Tesla is still battery-constrained. In addition, it's important to point out that just a few months back, Tesla acquired battery maker and supercapacitor manufacturer Maxwell Technologies.
Recent job listings show that Tesla is going to begin battery cell manufacturing. The company will build a manufacturing line in Fremont, California. However, it's also searching for employees in Colorado.
Tesla posted a "Technician" position in the cell manufacturing category on its Careers website. It reads:
Tesla is currently seeking a Technician for a manufacturing line we are developing. You’ll be part of a new product line we are developing.
Further information shows that Tesla needs a cell technician in Colorado, which is strange since the company doesn't have any known facilities there. The job description states:
We are looking for an Engineering Technician to assist anode development and optimization R&D. Candidates should be familiar with Li-ion cell chemistry and have experience building and assembling cells for performance testing. This candidate will be a key member of a cross-functional product development team. This job includes the fabrication of laboratory scale Li-ion anodes, electrode processing, laboratory scale Li-ion cell builds, and data analysis. The primary responsibilities of this position will be to assist in experimental planning and to carry out experiments and analysis.
It will be interesting to see how all of this develops and plays out.