could start mass-producing higher-capacity batteries as early as next year. The 4680 cell is said to increase the range of electric vehicles by more than 15%. Like notes, that it could increase the Model S’s range from 650 km (404 miles or more) on a single charge to 750 km (about 465 miles).
Although the battery is twice as large as previous versions, it has a five-fold increase in power capacity, according to Nikkei. As such, cars need fewer batteries, which are already 10 to 20 percent cheaper to produce. Batteries are estimated to represent 30% of the cost of EVs. A cost reduction can make electric vehicles more affordable and accelerate the transition to electric vehicles. Plus, a longer range means drivers won’t need to charge their batteries as often.
Panasonic is investing about 80 billion yen ($704 million) in new equipment to produce the 4680. It is said to be expanding an existing factory in Japan and making the batteries there to begin with. Nikkei reports that the company will begin manufacturing the cells on a small scale this year to develop safe and efficient processes before going into mass production in 2023. It may mass-produce the batteries in other countries later.
The company confirmed which was setting up a test production line in 2022, although it did not say when it will start making the batteries on a larger scale. “We are studying several options for mass production,” he said.
Panasonic started working on the cell phone after a request from Tesla. The head of Panasonic’s battery division said in november that the company has not ruled out producing the cell for other automakers, although Tesla is its priority. Tesla CEO Elon Musk previously said that while his company plans to, it would continue to source them from other suppliers.
Tesla at a Battery Day event in September 2020. At the time, Musk said the cell and other developments could allow Tesla to start selling a $25,000 EV.
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