The South-Korean company would sell Tesla equipment for battery production.
If no disaster happens apart from the one that already did, Tesla Battery Day may be held by the end of May. That will be the occasion in which Tesla will tell the world not only about its million-mile battery but also about how it plans to produce it. You already know about Maxwell and Hibar Systems, companies Tesla acquired to help reach that goal. Still, now the South-Korean website TheElec says Tesla has made another important deal with Hanwha.
If you are not familiar with a chaebol, that’s a huge conglomerate, just like zaibatsus in Japan. Hyundai is a good example. Hanwha is a chaebol that specialized in chemicals, explosives, and the machinery to produce this stuff. Tesla would have bought battery manufacturing-related equipment from them.
To be more precise, Hanwha calls it formation equipment, involved in post-processing. These machines would provide the cells with a constant current and repeatedly perform charging and discharging.
Considering the description, it looks like a quality control equipment to determine which batteries can be used in the cars and which had any manufacturing issues that prevent that. If you are familiar with what this equipment does, feel free to tell us more about it.
The strange note to this story is that The Korea Times published it and was quoted as the source by many outlets. If you click on their link, you see the Korean website has erased the article. Would Hanwha have denied the news? Would TheElec have asked The Korea Times to remove it? We are trying to check the reasons and will update this article should we learn more about that.
The first plant to receive the equipment will be Fremont, according to TheElec. That is strange, considering the battery packs for the cars made there come from the Gigafactory, in Nevada.
A good explanation for that would be that the Gigafactory has Panasonic employees that could see what Tesla is doing with its batteries. Another one is that making the batteries where the cars are produced helps logistics. The real reason may be none of the above.
We have no idea how much investment Panasonic made at the Gigafactory, but Tesla and the Japanese company have already shown multiple times their partnership may end soon. With the COVID-19 pandemic, Panasonic took its 3,500 employees at the Gigafactory out of the plant. Tesla kept its employees working. Panasonic also does not supply cells for Giga Shanghai. Finally, it ended its solar partnership with Tesla in February 2020.
When a Twitter user asked Elon Musk about Tesla Battery Day, the Tesla CEO said, “there are many pieces to the puzzle. One of them may be Hanwha. Another one may be Tesla getting into the mining business. Are there any others that you are aware of or wish Tesla could fit into it? Let us know in the comments below.