Dubbed as the 4680 format because of their dimensions (46 mm wide, 80 mm tall), this new type of batteries will enter production in March 2024 at only one plant in Japan, as Reuters informed. We should remember this announcement coming from Panasonic. Tesla first talked about a new and revolutionary type of battery in 2020. Two years later we get confirmation that it’ll be another two years before we see them installed in new cars.
Also in 2020, Elon Musk confirmed Tesla would increase its battery cell purchases from Panasonic, LG, CATL, and other possible suppliers. In the end, Panasonic looks like it’s the first company to make them. It’s possible others will follow suit, but for now, the Japanese have made the first real step. The confirmation of production is important for both Tesla and Panasonic.
Initially, Musk calied the involvement in the development of the new battery pack would delay production of the Cybertruck, Semi, and Roadster. He thought and hoped everything would be set for 2022. Now this has been proven to be wrong. Given everything that’s happening in the world, it’s understandable. Good technology that can improve transportation doesn’t just happen overnight.
The 4680 batteries’ tabless design and simpler chemistry will help with the improvement of vertical integration in the production effort. Not only will this help with keeping costs down but will also translate into better-priced cars. Early adopters enjoyed EV transportation, but with this new development on the horizon and SSBs that are to come in 2028, the industry has a real chance of producing cars that have better prices and improved range. Recycling is another key theme that we will follow closely.