Tesla is getting ready to ramp up its in-house battery production of the proprietary 4680 cells near its EV factory in Fremont, California. The automaker signed a lease not long ago for a manufacturing center that was to be used for essential battery tech and manufacturing, most likely for the much-needed 4680 cells.
The information about the lease came from sources familiar with the matter, who leaked it to Business Times. The publication printed that Tesla had leased 210,000 square feet of manufacturing space from Prologis and that it would be used for 4680 battery cells.
Tesla has been ramping up its own 4680 battery cell production for some time now, mostly at a pilot plant on Kato Road, near the Fremont factory. By Q3 of 2022, Tesla has already tripled its internal 4680 cell output, and the company's board gave approval to ramp it up. According to Teslarati, Zachary Kirkhon shared at the time:
“Yeah,  ramp is going well, as Elon said. Total output is up 3x quarter over quarter, and production is tracking to exceed 1,000 car cells per week this quarter as we said last quarter. Our focus is now shifting from 100% ramp to cost and further expanding production capacity in North America, as Elon also mentioned."
Tesla said it had reached a production capacity of about 1,000 4680 cells per week at the end of last year. The EV maker's long-term goal is to get to 100 Gigawatt hours (GWh) annually once it ramps up its new plans at Giga Nevada. The longer-term goal is to eventually hit 1,000 GWh.
The company also assured that its 4680 cell pursuits should not cause concern for its 2170 cells. Tesla intends to continue to look at different battery cell shapes, sizes, and chemistries, and lean on other partners to help supply it with the batteries it needs in addition to those it's producing in-house.
Tesla still relies on many battery partners, including CATL, LG Energy Solutions, and, of course, Panasonic. It also reportedly just started buying EV battery cells from BYD.