Battery Cell Production Doesn’t Appear To Bottleneck Tesla Model 3 Output
Number of cells produced: over 500,000,000
According to the latest estimations by Electrek, Tesla Gigafactory already produced more than 600 million lithium-ion battery cells (21700 cylindrical type), which would store 11 GWh of energy.
This past summer Tesla said that production reached an annualized run rate of about 20 GWh, and Panasonic said in late 2018 that new lines will increase the production capacity to 35 GWh by the end of the year. Half of the year at 20 GWh (10 GWh) plus the previous period should put the Gigafactory already above 11 GWh.
As the 160,000+ Tesla Model 3 produced would – at 11 GWh – translate to an average of less than 69 kWh per car (excluding probably less than 1 GWh for energy storage systems), we need to note that regular production is probably running below current plant capacity.
The conclusion must be that at least for now, the battery production is not the bottleneck for Tesla Model 3 production.
…which prompts another question. What is the current bottleneck that prevents Tesla from exceeding 5,000 Model 3 per week and achieving 7,000 per week? The average rate for Q4 was below 650 Model 3 per day (below 4,700 per week), which requires less than 20 GWh of batteries per year.
The Tesla Gigafactory produces:
- 21700 cylindrical lithium-ion cells (called also 2170)
- battery modules and packs for Tesla Model 3
- Tesla Powerwall home energy storage systems
- Tesla Powerpack utility energy storage systems
- electric motors
- 5.4 million square feet of space on 3,200 acres
- Over 7,000 Tesla employees and growing quickly
- More than 17,000 construction jobs created since 2015
— Electric_Hajek (@Stefan_Hajek) January 10, 2019