Panasonic To Speed Up New Battery Production Line Installs At Gigafactory

Tesla battery production

SEP 26 2018 BY MARK KANE 28

Gigafactory production capacity to hit 35 GWh annually this year.

Panasonic is working on increasing lithium-ion cell production at the Tesla Gigafactory. The three new lines (on top of 10 already installed) were expected to go online by the end of this year.

The latest reports are that all 13 lines will be ready earlier (but no exact timeline details were provided) as Panasonic is trying to not block Tesla with another bottleneck. Tesla is in an urgent need to deliver as many Model 3 as possible.

Yoshio Ito, head of Panasonic’s automotive business said:

“The bottleneck for Model 3 production has been our batteries. They just want us to make as many as possible.”

With three new lines, production capacity should be about 35 GWh annually (in August, the factory was at about 20 GWh).

Originally, it was planned that 30% of battery cells will be for energy storage systems (Powerpacks and Powerwalls), but according to article, batteries for Model 3 are now prioritized.

Source: Bloomberg

Categories: Tesla

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28 Comments on "Panasonic To Speed Up New Battery Production Line Installs At Gigafactory"

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Hopefully some of this current priority, for battery production capacity and efficiency, in fulfilling Model 3 demand, will benefit the coming Model Y ramp up, in the next two years.

If Tesla wants to build more cars will less cells, they need to start offering the Model 3 Standard Battery.

This ramp up is likely for that model. Once they start selling the standard model 3 they will have to be ready for a huge surge in demand.

All the little bottlenecks they are dealing with now are mostly to meet future demand. The lines might be efficient enough for the more expensive 3 today.

It’s easier to increase capacity than to introduce the production of a new product. The Standard Batteries are going to use a different cell than the LR. It won’t be a smaller pack using the same cells as the LR.

That’s in direct contradiction to the information available thus far.

Musk’s own words, “We came up with a new design that achieves the same outcome, that’s actually lighter, better, cheaper and we will be introducing that around the end of this year – probably reach volume production on that in Q1 or something. That will make the car lighter, better, and cheaper and achieve a higher range.”

Talking about the battery pack…not the cell.

Do the 75 S/Xs still use “dead” cells in their battery pack? Perhaps they found a lighter/cheaper/better(stronger?) “dead” cell design…

Tesla never used “dead” cells in any of their battery packs. There was some speculation that Tesla originally used dead or dummy cells in the Model S60 packs, back when Tesla was only making the S60 and the S85, but this speculation was bebunked when Tesla published specs showing the S60 was a few hundred pounds of curb weight lighter than the S85.

It amazes me that this bad meme is still in circulation, and frankly I find it depressing that such wrong info can linger on the internet for years and decades.

Ron Swanson's Mustache

[citation needed]

You guys are probably right. We’ll have to see. If it means that they can get to that 210-220 mile range @ 100% with less cells, it will mean better profits on that model.

I don’t think the 2170 cells will change… if it does it’ll change for Long Range and Standard. Doesn’t make much sense to make two different types and you can make the battery pack lighter without changing the cell type. Also, if you make a cell lighter, that means it’ll cost alot more. I am guessing the housing will use less materials and the charging hardware and thermal management system might have less electronics, wiring and materials.

“Gigafactory production capacity to hit 35 GWh annually this year.”

35 GWh of production capacity isn’t the same as actually producing 35 GWh of batteries in one year; but I’m impressed that Tesla will be achieving that capacity this year! As I recall, Gigafactory 1 wasn’t originally scheduled to achieve a 35 GWh production until 2020.

And all this from a factory that’s still in the process of being built out, section by section, and I think has only reached about 2/3 of its intended full size!

As far as I know, it’s only at 1/3 of its intended full size

Hmmm, well it looks like my 2/3 estimate was too big, but your 1/3 estimate is too small. Perhaps very approximately 1/2, then?

In this moment the size is about 30-35% of the full size. In final phase will be produced 105GWh of battery cells and 150GWh battery packs annually, good about for 2 million cars.

Of the final capacity, at least a third — possibly even half — was supposed to go towards storage products, though…

I for one would like to see them sell more powerpacks and build more battery farms to replace peaker plants. Perhaps one of these days they can come up with a plug-in version of the Powerwall that is may be 2-3 kwh I can just plug into a regular power outlet.

Yeah, original plan was 35 GWh in 2020; that was accelerated to 35 GWh in 2018 though after the Model 3 reservation flood — so they actually seem to be within the updated plan…

Not sure how much of the originally planned size the building has reached thus far: but it’s only a bit more than a third of the updated plans…

I know there was some talk about expanding the planned finished size, but I don’t know if any final determination was ever made.

Another acknowledgement — and I think the most explicit one thus far — that cell production is actually a bottleneck… Seems surprising, considering that the claimed running rate of 20 GWh per year should be good for ~5,000 LR Model 3 per week — which is more than they have been averaging thus far… I guess there may be a pretty long lead time though from cells entering production to packs actually being ready for installation?

Need batteries for the Semi too.

Probably not for a couple of years, at least. My guess is that the Model Y will go into production before the Semi Truck, but that’s just a guess.

Love to see this. Wow, going from 20 gigawatt-hours (gwh) worth of annual production capacity to 35 gwh is a big jump.

Panasonic and Tesla are not fooling around!

I bet a lot of Japanese execs were extremely dubious about the Gigafactory investment. And with good reason. It would be interesting to hear the inside story on how Panasonic build up the fortitude to greenlight the Gigafactory venture.

I’m glad that it has paid off for them…and for all of us.

Certainly Panasonic had to be dragged very reluctantly, and with much arm-twisting by Tesla, into agreeing to help fund Gigafactory 1 production. Tesla even publicly courted Samsung as an alternative supplier/partner, and my guess is that was part of pressuring Panasonic to join the project.

I would also guess that since Tesla has finally started ramping up Model 3 production swiftly, Panasonic is probably much happier about their investment!

Suppose that Tesla will deliver 400,000 Tesla Model 3 vehicles in 2019 (200,000 Long Range and 200,000 Standard Range).

Tesla will need a heck of a lot of “2170 battery cells” for those 400,000 battery packs.

200000 x 55 kWh + 200000 x 75 kWh = 26 000 000 kWh = 26 GWh of cells