Panasonic has announced that it will be giving Tesla top priority for the new 4680 batteries, which makes sense since Tesla is set to deliver its first 4680 vehicles in Q1 2022.
MarketWatch reported that Chief Financial Officer Hirokazu Umeda said that Panasonic is renovating its facilities and plans to start trial production in Wakayama Prefecture, which is near Panasonic’s headquarters in Osaka. The trial production is expected to start in the fiscal year beginning in April. Umeda said, “Tesla has put in an extremely strong request for the 4680, so when we are actually able to deliver the 4680, we plan to put top priority on Tesla.”
A spokeswoman for Panasonic said that its business with Tesla accounted for around 60% of the revenue in its energy business. Panasonic reported revenue of 194.3 billion Japanese yen, which is $1.69 billion, in the three months ending on December 31. MarketWatch noted that this suggested that Tesla’s business brought in around $1 billion for Panasonic in the quarter.
She also said that the time and place for mass production of the 4680 batteries haven’t been decided yet.
In October 2021, Panasonic unveiled a new prototype of the 4680 battery design, and the company’s head of energy business, Kazuo Tadanobu, showed it at a media roundtable. He stated that the core reason for Panasonic’s development of the battery was due to Tesla’s “strong desire” for it.
“We have developed this because of the strong desire of the other party, and we think this can only lead to stronger ties.”
During the Tesla Q4 2021 earnings call last month, Elon Musk noted that in Texas, Tesla is already building the Model Y with the structural battery packs and 4680 cells. He also said that Tesla would start delivering them soon.
“In Texas, we’re building the Model Ys with the structural battery pack and the 4680 cells, and we’ll start delivering after final certification of the vehicle, which should be fairly soon.”
Drew Baglino, Tesla’s Senior Vice President, Powertrain and Energy Engineering, added that he believed that the first vehicles made with the 4680 cells would be delivered in Q1 2022.
“We’re building 4680 structural packs every day, which are being assembled into vehicles in Texas. I was driving one yesterday and the day before. And we believe our first 4680 vehicles will be delivered this quarter.”
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