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Panasonic Mass Produces New Generation of Tesla Batteries in 2023

According to reports from various sources, Panasonic will mass-produce a new generation of lithium-ion batteries for Tesla with five times the energy capacity of the usual model by early 2023.

According to a Nikkei Asia report, the new battery is claimed to increase the range of electric cars (EVs), and make them more affordable to manufacture and sell.

In a statement provided to Reuters, Panasonic declined to confirm the Nikkei report.

Panasonic is studying various options for mass production, including a test production line built during this business year, although it can't announce anything at this time.

The Nikkei reports that the larger, higher-capacity battery – known as the 4680 battery cell because it measures 46mm x 80mm – can increase the range of electric vehicles by about 20 percent, while Tesla itself has mentioned a 16 percent increase in range.

Still according to Nikkei, the company could apply it to cars like the Model S and increase its range from 650km (about 404 miles) to 750km (about 465 miles).

Panasonic is reportedly expanding its factory in Wakayama, Japan, to mass-produce the new batteries, and previously told the Wall Street Journal that test production would begin in March 2022.

The new generation of battery cells was actually revealed by Tesla at an event in September 2020. In addition to their higher storage capacity, the company's CEO, Elon Musk said the cells are six times more powerful, and reduce the cost per kWh by 14 percent.

Lower prices and better range are the kinds of advancements that are key to making electric cars more attractive to consumers.

The focus of the Tesla 2020 event will be on the company's efforts to manufacture its own batteries, to reduce the potential problems of relying on external suppliers such as Panasonic.

But in a series of tweets posted ahead of the event, Elon said the company would continue to buy battery cells from other companies.

Elon Mask also revealed that he intends to increase, not reduce his purchases of battery cells from Panasonic, LG & CATL. Elon Musk tweeted, adding that Tesla is unlikely to achieve mass production of battery cells until 2022.

The status of Tesla's new battery cells will likely be announced at an upcoming company event on Wednesday, January 26. Elon also said he would share an official "product plan update" for the Cybertruck following reports of its delay to early 2023.

Photo: Pixabay

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