A new report published by German media outlet Handelsblatt further substantiates earlier claims that Tesla is putting some plans on hold at its new factory in Berlin and shifting those plans to its other new Gigafactory in Austin, Texas. The plans were specific to upcoming battery production, and now it seems we may have a better idea of what Tesla appears to be planning.
In late September, we shared a report with you stating that Tesla was planning to shift its focus away from its Gigafactory Berlin and instead focus on Texas. More specifically, it seemed the company would put its battery plans on hold in Germany in order to more successfully ramp up in Texas, where delays and bottlenecks may tend to be less frequent.
Prior to the report, it seemed Tesla was about to move forward with adding battery production at its new German factory, as soon as the powers that be would allow it, and all the related details could be put into place.
According to the latest Handelsblatt report via Electrek, Tesla has encountered some issues with battery cell production in Germany, and it has gone so far as to begin moving battery manufacturing equipment to Giga Texas.
Tesla has had plans to produce its new 4680 battery cells at the Austin Gigafactory, though we haven't heard much about the progress of the battery production or the cars that are supposed to use the cells. We do know Tesla is manufacturing the new battery cells in smaller batches at a pilot plant near its original factory in Fremont, but it will need many more cells to outfit Model Y vehicles, as well as the upcoming Tesla Cybertruck.
During the construction efforts at Giga Texas, several drone flyovers and various tours revealed that there is clearly battery-related equipment at the Texas factory, and Tesla has said it will produce batteries at the plant. It was more recently that it came to light that Tesla was also going to move forward with battery production in Germany.
With all of that said, the Handelsblatt report contains the following details, which were shared by Electrek:
"The fact that Tesla will not start full battery cell production in its German plant in Grünheide for the time being apparently has other reasons than lower energy costs and new tax incentives in the USA worth billions. Several sources close to the electric car manufacturer report a significant delay in a crucial but highly complex production technique."
Once again, the reported information that we previously shared about Tesla's 4680 battery cells is getting further attention. We told you in early September that Tesla was struggling to ramp up 4680 cell production to the point that it would actually generate notable savings. The reason was due to not yet perfecting a new and difficult manufacturing technique.
Originally, it seemed Tesla may be shifting to Texas over Berlin due to the new US federal EV tax credit rules surrounding battery materials sourcing. However, the publication's latest report doesn't reiterate the suggestions. Instead, it simply notes that Tesla has decided to focus on getting the new dry-coat electrode process up to par in the States before moving forward with it elsewhere. Handelsblatt reported, according to Electrek:
"This is not a rejection of Grünheide. Tesla boss Elon Musk wants to continue to build a battery cell plant in Brandenburg in the long term. But before that, the electric car manufacturer has to get the so-called dry coating of the electrodes under control."
Electrek notes that five experts confirmed that the tests of the technology have been largely successful. However, they also suggested that Tesla isn't yet at the point where it can perform the manufacturing techniques at a large enough scale. Two of the five experts were said to have close ties with Tesla.