We've shared information in the past about Tesla's "Kato Road facility." Apparently, the 4680 battery cell pilot plant doesn't have an official name, but it's located on Kato Road in Fremont, California, a few miles down the road from Tesla's Fremont Factory.
Earlier reports referred to the happenings at the Kato Road facility as Tesla's Roadrunner Project. However, we do know now that Tesla is using the space to produce its own, proprietary 4680 battery cells.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently talked about the 4680 plant. According to Teslarati, he went so far as to say it's “probably in the top 10 battery cell factories on Earth despite being a pilot plant." It's hard to know how true this statement is, but it seems Musk must have some idea of the output of major battery factories across the globe, and clearly, it's just not nearly enough. At Tesla's Battery Day event, it was revealed that the pilot plant building these new batteries will take one year to reach 10 GWh. That was back in September 2020.
If the Kato Road facility is in the top 10 for cell production, this is a pretty epic feat since it's just a pilot plant and it's not even close to complete or fully functional. Teslarati looked into the world's largest battery factories by production. Of course, the Kato Road facility isn't yet on the list. However, interestingly, it discovered that the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada lands in the 5th spot overall, at a capacity of 35 GWh per year. However, previous reports put that number at 54 GWh/year.
The information came from Argus Media. According to its list, the factories range from 24 GWh per year to 70 GWh per year, with LG Chem at the top of the list, followed by BYD. CATL has a factory near the top of the list, just ahead of the Tesla Gigafactory. However, it also has a plant at the bottom of the list.
Is Tesla's Kato Road facility already cranking out over 24 GWh/year? Or, does it simply have the capacity to do so? Or, even more of a stretch, will it eventually have the capacity to do so? It's impossible to know for sure, but hopefully, we'll have more official information from Tesla in the near future.