Published on September 26th, 2018 | by Zachary Shahan0
Panasonic: Tesla Demand Is Jacking Up, We’ll Build Battery Cells Faster
September 26th, 2018 by Zachary Shahan
As we’ve reported recently, Bloomberg publishes a lot of negative, biased, misleading content about Tesla. It appears that there are also concerns regarding how its reporters are compensated. Nonetheless, the media outlet is one of the largest in the world and has vast reporting resources. Three Japanese reporters penned a piece today indicating that Panasonic is hastening its efforts to bring more battery cell production online at Tesla’s Gigafactory.
In case you think this news sounds familiar and was published two months ago, note that there’s a slight but significant update here.
Two months ago, it was reported that Panasonic would increase battery cell production by 30% by the end of the year at the Nevada location. What’s new today is that a Panasonic exec is saying they are speeding up that production capacity increase. Apparently, Tesla’s demand for batteries is so strong that Panasonic is stepping on the torque-happy accelerator pedal.
The interview with Yoshio Ito, Panasonic’s top dude for the automotive business, actually took place on Tuesday in Tokyo. It’s not entirely clear what the previous schedule was (presumably December 31?), but he stated that the plan now is to complete the expansion ahead of schedule.
To be less playful and more straightforward, what’s clear at this point is that Tesla Model 3 production and deliveries have ramped up. Even with approximately 100,000 Model 3s now in customer hands, Tesla hasn’t yet started delivering the $35,000 Model 3 and hasn’t yet started delivering cars outside of North America, which indicates that there’s still plenty of demand for the higher-optioned cars in the US. How much monthly demand will exist for the car once the $35,000 version is going out the door and once more friends, family members, and co-workers of owners experience the car and find out they can get one relatively quickly is completely unknown. Bulls are bullish. Bears are bearish. And I have to presume Zebras are Zebrish (Zebraish? Zebra-ish?).
Aside from customer demand, the other main question is whether Tesla has other notable production bottlenecks beyond batteries. There have been reports that might be the case, but if Panasonic feels pressure to ramp up battery cell production more quickly, it seems logical to me that Tesla is otherwise prepared or expecting to be prepared for higher-volume production. If the suspense is tormenting you, consider picking up a new hobby or exploratory activity, like meditation or underwater hockey.