Tesla Developing Its Own Battery Technology

August 1, 2019

According to a recent report on CNBC, Tesla is effecting to manufacture its own batteries to become less dependent on outside sourcing — namely from Panasonic — in the near future.

The report cites current employees saying that the goal of the company multifaceted but aimed to eliminate the need to pay outside vendors as well as stop sharing data with those partners to go along with reducing the cost of paying that mark-up on technology.

In the past, CEO Elon Musk has said that the company not being vertically integrated and battery-constrained has hurt with pricing in a competitive marketplace.

“[Panasonic] lines at [Gigafactory] are only at [24 gigawatt hours per year and] have been a constraint on Model 3 output since July,” he tweeted. “No choice but to use other suppliers for Powerwall/Powerpack cells. Tesla won’t spend money on more capacity until existing lines get closer to 35 [gigawatt hours per year] theoretical.”

He followed that tweet with this, ““It was physically impossible to make more Model 3’s in [the first quarter] due to [battery] cell constraints.”

The company built just under 63,000 of its Model 3 cars in the first quarter of this calendar year — or less than 700 per day — with increasing demand.

Following his public outburst, Tesla released a more official statement, reading that, “We do believe there is far more output to be gained from improving existing production equipment than was previously estimated. We are seeing significant gains from upgrading existing lines to increase output, which allows Tesla and Panasonic to achieve the same output with less spent on new equipment purchases.”

According to the CNBS report, employees inside of the Tesla lab in Fremont, California are designing and prototyping advance lithium ion battery cells.

The report also cites numbers job listings by the company for prospective candidate with experience in battery cell design, equipment for producing battery cells and manufacturing processes to make batteries.

The outside signals are also looking at recent acquisitions — including Maxwell Technologies — which Chief Technical Officer JB Straubel said at the June investors meeting made the coming moves, “more obvious now than I think it ever was, we need a large-scale solution to cell production.”

To read more about the Tesla battery independence, check out the full report on CNBC.

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