It may come as no surprise that a panel of experts claims Tesla is struggling to ramp up the production of its new 4680 battery cells. This is because Tesla made it clear years ago, at Battery Day, that there would be challenges. Tesla's goals were likely too lofty, as now the EV maker is only about halfway through the process of rolling out its 4680 cells, according to experts.
Essentially, 12 industry experts with knowledge about Tesla's 4680 cells spoke with Reuters to share what they know and understand about the manufacturing process. Of the 12, all have some connection to Tesla, and nine were said to have very close ties.
The consensus among the experts is that Tesla is still having issues scaling its 4680 battery program. The company is reportedly benefitting from the larger battery cells, but hasn't yet ramped up the tricky cost-saving manufacturing process. Without both the larger cells and the new efficient manufacturing technique, the cost savings cannot be fully realized.
When, and if, Tesla gets to the point that it can successfully scale the new battery tech, it will reduce costs, make manufacturing more efficient, and allow it to offer lower prices. In fact, the experts noted that the new battery tech together with the dry-coat electrode manufacturing process could cut the Model Y's battery cost in half, which is a savings of $5,500 per car.
With that said, the experts shared that the reason Tesla is having such a hard time ramping the 4680 cell production is due to the dry-coat electrode process. The company is struggling to produce at a rate that's quick enough to cut costs since the special process is still new and unproven. According to Teslarati, the experts believe that Tesla can likely have the dry-coat electrode process fully implemented sometime in 2023.
We've been reporting for some time now that we weren't quite sure what was up with Tesla's 4680 battery program. There have been signs that something was off, or at least that there were details Tesla hasn't yet shared. While we can't report the experts' statements as facts, the information they've reported lines up with the mystery around the 4680 cells. Hopefully, we'll learn more from Tesla in the near future.
Sources: Automotive News, Reuters, Teslarati