Despite its close relationship with Panasonic, Tesla will actually be utilizing Samsung SDI lithium-ion battery cells at the facility in South Australia that’s now under construction, the company has revealed.
The reason for the choice of supplier is a fairly pragmatic one, though — Panasonic reportedly wouldn’t be able to meet demand for the project. It’s noteworthy here that we just reported on the fact that Panasonic is expanding its automotive lithium-ion production capacity in Japan, not that those are the same cells.
Also noteworthy is that Tesla CEO Elon Musk promised the massive new facility in South Australia would be online within 100 days of a grid connection agreement being signed or that it would be “free” — presumably, that promise has led to a need to be pragmatic about rapid sourcing of battery cells.
“Tesla is importing the cells to the US for final assembly before sending them to Australia — apparently taking the promotional benefits over profit,” Asia Times notes.
“The South Australia state government then placed an order for one the world’s largest battery systems, capable of storing 100,000 kWh — enough to power roughly 30,000 homes. Tesla is poised to drastically expand sales of large energy-storage facilities in other regions. The US company is likely to more heavily tap into Samsung SDI’s excess capacity in the future as it grows the business.”
It’s been reported that Tesla’s PR gamble has been paying off, with numerous regions — including Taiwan — now considering the purchase of the company’s energy storage systems as a means of preventing blackouts.