It is known that Tesla has recruited specialists from Panasonic to develop 4680 lithium battery cells, but the Japanese manufacturer hopes to maintain its leading position in their release. Representatives of the Japanese company refused to confirm the rumors about the intention to build a new plant in the United States, citing the need to develop the production of 4680 cells in Japan.
He shared his comments on the matter in an interview. Bloomberg Kazuo Tadanobu, CEO of Panasonic Energy Division. Work on preparing the mass production of cells of the 4680 type has been carried out over the past year and a half and, as a representative of the Japanese company admits, required a lot of perseverance. The developers are very pleased that Tesla has recognized the type 4680 batteries they have developed as meeting the requirements of the American company.
Currently, a Japanese contractor is producing Type 4680 batteries on a pilot line in Japan, but from April 2023, mass production will be established on two new lines in the west of the country. Japanese media last week circulated information about Panasonic’s intentions to set up a core business in the United States, but division head Kazuo Tadanobu said that nothing has been finalized, everything will be decided in negotiations with partners and with sound judgment on economic issues feasibility. So far, the company has made it a priority to organize the mass production of new batteries in Japan.
Panasonic does not intend to give in to competitors, among which there are those who want to start production of elements with similar characteristics. LG Energy Solution is ready to produce 4680 batteries, while Samsung SDI has developed its own analogue with slightly different dimensions. Panasonic sees it as an advantage to be able to manufacture these batteries with high quality assurance, as the larger case increases the risk of self-ignition defects and it is important to keep a very close eye on manufacturing techniques.
On a global scale, Panasonic believes the transition to a new battery size is very important as it will make EVs more affordable and modernize the global fleet faster. Tesla has previously stated that using 4680 batteries will enable the production of $25,000 in electric vehicles with a fully competitive set of consumer grades and features.