The California-based automaker is setting up the basis for a new generation of battery technology with the introduction in series production of the new 2170 lithium-ion cells.
Tesla and its on-site batter partner Panasonic have started the series production of battery cells at the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada – they had been producing trial batches since December – and now the battery parts to be used in end products have also started churning off the lines. The first batches of the new 2170 cell – called revolutionary by the company and its Japanese partner – will not be used for automotive products, instead going into the Powerwall and Powerpack products. The new 2170 cells have been specifically engineered to deliver the highest possible energy density in the smallest form factor, with Tesla claiming they provide “the best performance at the lowest production cost.”
From this year’s second quarter though, the Gigafactory will also kick off production of battery assembly units for the upcoming Tesla Model 3, with the automaker also looking to introduce on the lines in Freemont the affordable electric sedan by the end of this year. Tesla and Panasonic continue to build the Gigafactory, and because they’re doing it in stages they can start working in already completed sections – 30 percent of the planned capacity is now complete.