Tesla announced the 4680 battery in 2020 during the company’s Battery Day event. The EV maker claims the new battery pack will be more affordable than the existing 2170 pack, while also improving energy density and efficiency. The automaker claims that the 4680 battery pack will cost 50% less than the 2170 format cells. Tesla has started using the battery pack sporadically on some Model Y vehicles, and it’s about to roll it out on the upcoming Cybertruck.
Since announcing the new battery pack three years ago, Tesla has been working hard to ramp up production of the new battery pack, with some impressive results. By the end of 2022, the auto company will be producing nearly 1 million batteries per week at its Fremont factory.
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During the earnings call for the first quarter of 2023, Drew Baglino, Tesla’s senior vice president of engineering, said the battery factory is currently under construction and commissioning. “For the battery factory, for the Texas 4680 factory, we are going through some of the process of building, commissioning, installing and operating, and if we do the full ramp-up that we described at Battery Day, the capex per gigawatt-hour will be higher than a typical battery. The plant is 70% lower. We will continue to pursue further densification and investment reduction opportunities in future plant expansions such as in Nevada,” he said.
Turning to the battery’s design, he hinted that the company has gone further than what it showed at the Battery Day event three years ago. “In terms of battery design, we’re not only producing the first generation of meterless batteries we introduced at Battery Day, but we’re producing a second, more manufacturable version in Texas today. A number of activities have been carried out on the daily roadmap. For lithium, our Corpus Christi lithium refinery will break ground in May of this year. Our goal is to start commissioning some of the facilities by the end of the year. The refinery uses a sulfate-free refining process, the process Low cost, no acid or alkaline reagents, low embodied energy. It actually creates a beneficial by-product that can be reused as a building material. Expected to take place in early 2024.
First published date: April 25, 2023 at 09:37 AM CST