The 480 battery cell is a cylindrical cell that's larger than previous cells and has a higher energy density. The goal here is to cut battery costs and provide greater efficiency, longer range, and better performance. In addition, the company plans to ramp up its cell production efforts by "nearly 100-fold by 2030."
Umeda pointed out that Panasonic has "considerable know-how for that battery." This announcement comes on the heels of the tech company's reported 11 percent increase in profit for the second quarter, which exceeded Wall Street analysts' projections.
The CFO admitted that Panasonic began work on the new cell immediately following Tesla's Battery Day in September. More importantly, the company is already getting set up to develop a prototype battery line for the cells.
At Tesla's Battery Day, the electric automaker did make it clear that it will still rely on other battery makers even as it begins to produce its own cells. Tesla also asked other battery makers to get on board. Clearly, Panasonic isn't hesitating here. So, as we wait for Tesla to be in a position to mass-produce its own 4680 cells, Panasonic seems to have the resources not only to be able to produce the cells, but also to begin prototype production on a larger scale.
Umeda closed by stating that Panasonic has already made plans to launch a 4680 battery cell production line at Tesla's Nevada Gigafactory next year. The new line will boost the factory's capacity by around 10 percent by 2022.