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Tesla: Panasonic set to start manufacturing next-gen batteries

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The Japanese giant has planned to invest 650 million euros in new equipment that will produce the 4680 battery.
A new generation of electric batteries is about to see the light of day. Tesla intends to take a step forward by equipping its vehicles with batteries with a much larger capacity than what we currently know. It is Panasonic who will take care of the production of these batteries. The first models should see the light of day in 2023 according to Nikkei Asia.

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+15% autonomy with these new generation batteries

With these new batteries, the range of the Tesla Model S could increase from 650 to 750 kilometers on a single charge. The 4680 battery (that’s its name) would therefore make it possible to increase the autonomy of electric vehicles by more than 15%. Greater autonomy of electric vehicles will make their use more democratic in the years to come. With 750 kilometers ahead of them, drivers won’t need to recharge the batteries as often as they do today.

Panasonic is a long-time partner for Tesla. The Japanese giant has planned to invest 650 million euros in new equipment that will make it possible to produce the 4680 battery. In particular, it is a question of expanding an existing factory in Japan and manufacturing the batteries for Tesla there. The company will start manufacturing the electric batteries on a small scale first, to fine-tune the manufacturing processes, before starting mass production in 2023.

Start of production in 2022

In a second step, Panasonic could even produce this new generation battery in other countries. The company has confirmed that it is preparing to set up a test production line in 2022. If Panasonic started working on this battery at a request from Tesla, the Japanese company’s battery manager does not rule out producing this same battery for other car manufacturers, even if Tesla remains a priority.

For his part, Elon Musk said that, although his company plans to manufacture its own batteries, it will continue to source from other suppliers, as is the case here with Panasonic. The American company had once considered working with LG on the same subject. To strengthen its internal skills, Tesla also acquired Hibar Systems in 2019. Tesla knows that in the long term, the difference will be made by independence in the manufacture of electric batteries.

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