Tesla Reaches 4680 Battery Cell Milestone At Giga Texas

Tesla Reaches 4680 Battery Cell Milestone At Giga Texas

After Tesla unveiled its highly efficient 4680 battery cell design in 2020, the company has slowly worked to ramp up its own production of the cell. In recent weeks, the automaker celebrated an important milestone in building 4680 cells at its Texas plant, ultimately supporting continued production of the Model Y electric SUV at the facility.

Above: A Tesla Model Y (Image: Casey Murphy / EVANNEX).

Tesla has built 10 million 4680 battery cells at its Gigafactory in Austin, Texas, which electrek reports is about enough to have built 12,000 Model Y units. The automaker announced the accomplishment on Twitter on Friday, along with a picture of employees outside of the factory. The cell format was unveiled publicly in 2020 at Tesla’s Battery Day event, which promised lowered production costs and higher efficiency for upcoming electric vehicles.

Giga Texas has produced far more than 12,000 Model Y units, reaching around 5,000 per week at the factory in May. While Tesla’s Gigafactory Texas produces many more vehicles than battery cells, the ongoing ramp-up of battery cells represents the company’s long-term goal to make as many in-house battery cells as possible.

Tesla’s Texas-built Model Y units mainly use 4680 battery cells from its Fremont, California plant, though the automaker has set its sights on being a major producer of the cells for its own vehicles and potentially for other companies. The automaker has also announced major expansions to its Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada, which is expected to continually increase the number of 4680 battery cells it produces, which is expected to reduce costs overall.

To be sure, some of Tesla’s 4680 cells don’t make it into its vehicles, though the automaker hasn’t yet shared output versus production statistics. Still, even as the company faces production bottlenecks in producing the cells, Tesla also provided an update saying it was working through many of the issues earlier this year.

Tesla expects battery costs to be reduced by as much as 50 percent with the 4680 battery cell design, compared to its last generation of 2170 cells, which were produced by suppliers instead of in house. The automaker’s Giga Nevada relies on a 4680 battery cell line built in partnership with Japanese supplier Panasonic, which the company has worked with on batteries since at least 2007.

During its 2020 Battery Day, Tesla predicted that the 4680 battery cell would eventually increase overall EV power capacity by six times, adding as much as five times the energy and 16 percent more range compared to the 2170 battery cell.


Sources: electrek / Twitter / Tesla