Tesla just recently submitted a permit requesting the ability to set up a new EV battery manufacturing line at its original factory in Fremont, California. The factory hasn't made a reputation producing battery cells or battery packs in the past, but it looks like that stands to change going forward.
Tesla sources battery materials and battery cells from various makers, and it also produces its own. The company developed its new 4680 cells, which it's producing on a pilot line near the Fremont factory, and at Giga Texas. Fremont relied on the Tesla Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada, and Tesla's partnership with Panasonic for years. However, production is growing by leaps and bounds, the company is now relying on multiple battery chemistries, and times are simply changing.
According to a recent report by our friends at Teslarati, Tesla signed and filed the battery manufacturing permit on August 30, 2022. The project is valued at some $1.5 million. The publication notes that it's labeled as follows:
Tesla F21-0391-A – CTA Battery B-Build.
NEW BATTERY MANUFACTURING EQUIPMENT LINE ON 2ND FLOOR OF MAIN ASSEMBLY BUILDING. THIS PERMIT APPLICATION RELATES TO THE MODULE PORTION OF THE LINE.
Teslarati goes on to share that there's also a second application that points to a $1.3 million project that calls for the installation of a related office, storage area, and other battery-related equipment. It also has information related to other vehicle parts that may be associated with or linked to the battery packs.
This all comes as no surprise not only because Tesla is working to increase production to better satisfy demand, but also because CEO Elon Musk and other execs have noted that the company will likely expand at Fremont. It's Tesla's original factory, it's still cranking out more cars than it's supposed to be capable of, and it's the only Tesla factory that actually makes all the brand's current models.
As Tesla expands and upgrades its factories across the globe, production is ramping up, and some delivery times are finally beginning to become slightly more manageable. However, we still have no idea what's going on with the 4680 cells, though Tesla does appear to be producing and stockpiling them at Giga Texas.
At this point, anything that Tesla can do to get further ahead of the game related to in-house battery development and production can only help further ramp up production going forward. Moreover, new US government tax incentives are quite particular about battery materials and cell sourcing, so producing them in-house in the US is wise.