Panasonic announced on Wednesday that it will delay the commercial production of its 4680 battery cells, championed by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and begin operations during the period of April to September in 2024, which is later than originally planned, in an effort to enhance their performance.
Panasonic, a Japanese supplier for Tesla, had intended to begin volume production between April 2023 and March 2024.
“Mass production rescheduled to begin during 1H FY3/25 to introduce performance improvement measures that will further enhance competitiveness,” Panasonic stated in its earnings presentation materials, referring to the first half of its fiscal year ending in March 2025.
Panasonic is operating a pilot 4680 production line at its Wakayama factory in Japan, whereas Tesla is already producing the 4680 battery cells, which Musk has promoted as essential to the development of affordable and more compelling electric vehicles. However, the automaker struggled to fulfill its production and performance goals for the cells.
In a recent conference call, Tesla executive Drew Baglino stated that the company intends to gradually increase production of 4,688 battery cells in preparation for Cybertruck production next year. Tesla currently employs the cells in the Model Y basic model.
Tesla, which produces 4,680 battery cells at its factories in California and Texas, stated that by the end of 2022, they were producing enough for more than 1,000 cars per week, which is equivalent to about one-fifth of its Texas factory’s annual production capacity.
Tesla’s South Korean supplier LG Energy Solution said last month that it intended to build up a new 4680 production line at its domestic facility by the end of this year, but did not specify when the batteries would commence volume production.