TOKYO, Jan 24 (Reuters) – Japan’s Panasonic will start producing its new lithium-ion battery for Tesla from 2023, with plans to invest around 80 billion yen ($705 million) in production facilities in Japan. , the Nikkei financial daily reported on Monday.
The new power plan could help make electric vehicles (EVs) more attractive to motorists by extending the cruising range by about a fifth, the Nikkei reported, without saying where it got the information.
“We are looking at various options for mass production, including a trial production line that we are setting up this business year. However, we have nothing to announce at this time,” Panasonic said in a statement sent to Reuters.
Panasonic introduced the 4680 format battery (46 millimeters wide and 80 millimeters high) in October. With around five times the size of the batteries it currently supplies to Tesla, it is also expected to help the US electric vehicle maker reduce production costs.
Panasonic will make the 4680 batteries at a plant in Wakayama prefecture in western Japan with an output of less than 10 gigawatt hours a year, equivalent to around 150,000 vehicles, the Nikkei said.
Panasonic is the sole maker of the most advanced Tesla battery, ensuring it remains a key supplier to the US company, at least for its most expensive models, even as the electric vehicle maker looks to China and elsewhere for battery suppliers. .
(1 dollar = 113.5400 yen)
(Reporting by Sakura Murakami and Tim Kelly. Editing in Spanish by Marion Giraldo)