September 22, 2022


Whereas Tesla’s least environment friendly car continues to be greater than 20% higher than its nearest competitor, Panasonic has introduced a prototype that might widen the gulf and fulfill Tesla’s future battery desires.

Picture Credit score: WildShutterPhotographie/Shutterstock.com 

Tesla is persistently driving innovation within the electrical car (EV) market and has pledged to make vital adjustments and advances in future batteries. Now, with the assist of the Japanese tech big, the brand new battery could have 5 instances extra storage and can assist Tesla cut back its manufacturing price.

Moreover, Panasonic has said that its newest venture, the event of Tesla’s 4680, can be manufactured explicitly for Tesla automobiles. This additional strengthens the ties between each corporations. Kazuo Tadanobu, head of Panasonic’s vitality enterprise, unveiled the battery prototype at a latest media roundtable citing a “sturdy want of the opposite occasion” as to why Panasonic was growing the product.

No particular particulars have been launched concerning when the 4680 batteries could be put into full-scale manufacturing, however the firm plans to begin “take a look at manufacturing” early subsequent 12 months. Panasonic’s improvement follows within the footsteps of Tesla’s personal plans to develop a 4680 battery: a battery that has dimensions of 46mm x 80mm.

Vitality Options

Throughout the EV business, car producers are persistently attempting to enhance batteries by rising driving vary and recharge speeds. When improving battery cells, EV producers might run into different points akin to elevated battery dimension, resulting in space-saving challenges and potential thermal administration points.

The brand new 4680 battery ought to provide extra vitality and subsequently enhance battery efficiency. Moreover, these batteries can be cheaper to provide by 50% in comparison with different fashions and may enhance Panasonic’s manufacturing by 100-fold over the subsequent decade.

Nonetheless, though the 4680 batteries provide sure vitality options, they’re bigger in dimension and have provoked questions surrounding thermal administration.  Elon Musk not too long ago addressed a few of these issues on Twitter stating, “Our new cell is 46mm diameter with metal shell & even that was enormous problem for propagation resistance.”

Tesla’s resolution, which Panasonic might observe in manufacturing, was unveiled throughout final 12 months’s ‘Battery Day’ occasion and sees a change made to the shape issue by putting coolant tubes above and under the cells to dissipate extra warmth. When pairing this with an modern tab-less battery design, Tesla has struck upon a system for optimum thermal administration of their 4680 batteries.

Tesla Battery Day

Video Credit score: Tesla/Youtube.com

Firm Ties

Panasonic has persistently labored with Tesla to seek out modern and sensible battery options, having beforehand manufactured an improved 2170 lithium ion-cell for the Tesla Mannequin 3 in 2017.

The choice to maneuver ahead with 4680 manufacturing was “due to the sturdy want of the opposite occasion, and we predict this will solely result in stronger ties,” based on Kazuo Tadanobu, Panasonic Vice President.

The Japanese-based electronics company has been a Tesla associate since 2012, when the Mannequin S was first rolled-out. Nonetheless, Tadanobu said that the corporate has no plans to supply Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) EV batteries, which Tesla is looking for out. 

Consequently, Tesla has began to diversify its portfolio and community of battery producers, making offers with South Korea’s LG Vitality Options and China’s CATL, in addition to shifting a few of its manufacturing in-house.

LFP batteries are safer and cheaper than nickel-based batteries, however provide much less vitality density and require an elevated charging frequency. Additional, LFP batteries are extra environmentally pleasant as they require fewer uncommon earth supplies.

Tesla does plan to supply LFP batteries from China’s CATL and set up these in a few of its entry-level Mannequin 3 and Mannequin Y automobiles. By rising its community of battery suppliers, Tesla can also be aiming to make its entry-level automobiles extra inexpensive whereas hoping to encourage innovation in gas cell manufacturing.

Tadanobu expressed little concern concerning Tesla’s provide diversification, saying the EV producer was prepared to purchase every thing Panasonic might make because of the excessive demand for EVs. For now, Panasonic will stay the only exterior producer and provider of the 4680 batteries, though LG and CATL might observe swimsuit.

Moreover, Panasonic’s timeline of take a look at manufacturing appears to align with Tesla’s roll-out of its high-end car vary subsequent 12 months, which incorporates the much-anticipated Cybertruck. Tesla additionally not too long ago confirmed that its personal 4680 pilot manufacturing at its Freemont plant in California would provide the primary run of automobiles, however expects its companions, together with Panasonic, to assist assist elevated volumes.

“Tesla’s expectations for shipments from our North American manufacturing facility are extraordinarily sturdy,” said Tadanobu.

Panasonic’s latest enlargement has seen a rise in its annual North American battery capability: 38-39 gigawatt-hours, up from 35-gigawatt hours within the 12 months ending March 2021. Consequently, this might be enough sufficient for batteries in additional than 400,000 Tesla Mannequin S automobiles.

References: 

Automotive Information. (2021, October 25). Panasonic unveils prototype battery for Tesla. https://www.autonews.com/suppliers/panasonic-unveils-prototype-ev-battery-tesla

Szymkowski, S. (2021, October 25). Tesla’s prototype battery with 5 instances extra vitality storage involves life at Panasonic. Roadshow. https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/information/tesla-battery-energy-storage-panasonic/


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