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Panasonic trial-produces Tesla's new battery, power battery staged the battle of the Three Kingdoms

by:Yisheng      2021-06-12

According to Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Panasonic plans to start trial production of 4680 new batteries for Tesla electric vehicles as early as 2021.

Tesla wants to make its own batteries, Panasonic has a greater sense of crisis

The cooperation between Panasonic and Tesla began in 2014, when the two parties jointly built a Tesla battery 'super factory' in Nevada. At that time, Tesla was still ordinary, which was a bold decision for Panasonic. Panasonic CEO Tsuga Kazuhiro believes that in the past, the Panasonic brand was too closely related to plasma TVs. After the production of plasma TVs was completely stopped at the end of 2013, he turned his attention to cars and real estate.

Unexpectedly, the once bold decision has become Panasonic’s main business. At the end of 2017, the battery business dominated by Tesla Motors accounted for 36% of Panasonic’s total revenue. Sales in fiscal year 2019 The amount reached 473.5 billion yen (about 30 billion yuan). However, the cooperation with Tesla has also experienced some production conflicts. In April 2018, Tesla's bad news continued one after another, and Tesla's stock price once plummeted more than 20%. Affected by this, Matsushita Electric's stock price also plummeted by more than 9%. Japan's Panasonic believes that the risks of cooperation with Tesla's car batteries are increasing.

In April 2019, Musk tweeted against Panasonic, blatantly accusing this partner of low battery production efficiency and limiting the production of Model 3. And Matsushita Tsuga Kazuhiro was also dissatisfied with Musk’s series of “unreasonable requests” and said to the media, “Musk has repeatedly asked for price reductions. In response, I once told him that I would consider replacing my employees and equipment. All withdraw from the super factory.'

And this year, Tesla also proposed a self-made battery. On 'Battery Day' in September, Musk introduced the 4680 battery: The 4680 battery uses a laser-engraved electrodeless ear design, removes the main heating components of the battery, can reduce internal resistance, improve thermal stability and controllability. In terms of key data, the energy density of the 4680 battery is increased by 5 times, and the output power is increased by 6 times. The range of electric vehicles equipped with this battery can be increased by 16%, and the new battery can reduce the cost per kilowatt hour by 14%. This solution uses a module-free design, with approximately 960 cells, and the energy density can be increased to 300Wh/kg. The new battery is a cylindrical shape with a diameter of 4.6 cm and a length of 8 cm, which is larger in size than Tesla's current battery and has different electrode materials.

Musk also said, “It is planned that by 2022, Tesla will produce its own 100GWh power battery, and the battery capacity will reach 3TWh by 2030. Tesla may overproduce batteries and supply batteries to other automakers. '

However, according to industry analysts, it is still difficult for Tesla to manufacture all its batteries and still rely on external battery suppliers.

LG Chem and Ningde era grab the beach

'We have a lot of battery technology. After Tesla's 'Battery DayYuyi (Hirokazu Umeda) said.

However, Panasonic is not the only manufacturer involved in the production of Tesla's 4680 battery. Although Panasonic and Tesla have been cooperating for the longest time, Tesla recently introduced LG Chem and CATL as automotive battery suppliers one after another.

At that time, on 'Battery Day' Musk announced that he would launch the '4680' new battery. South Korean media reported that the specifications of the new battery developed by LG Chem completely coincided with the 4680. LG Chem Executive Vice President Jang Seung-se revealed that the company is developing a new cylindrical battery with an energy density 5 times that of current batteries and an energy output that is 6 times that of current batteries. This is consistent with the 4680 battery pack specifications disclosed by Musk.

It is said that LG Chem also intends to increase the production of cylindrical batteries from 20GWh to 60GWh in 2023. These signs make them believe that LG Chem may win some orders for 4680 battery packs. LG Chem said: 'Due to the increase in shipments of cylindrical batteries for electric vehicles, sales are expected to continue to grow.'

In addition, CATL, as one of Tesla’s three major power battery suppliers, is also actively deploying cylindrical battery production lines. I wonder if it will participate in the production of Tesla 4680 batteries in the future. Come in?

As Tesla is advancing the self-manufacturing of new batteries, and companies in the same industry are also deploying, Panasonic will conduct trial production as soon as possible to increase the chance of obtaining Tesla orders as soon as possible.

According to Japanese media reports, “Panasonic will build a prototype battery production line based on existing facilities. The cost of this project is expected to reach tens of millions of dollars.” This prototype battery will start production next year. This may lead to a new supply agreement with Tesla. Currently, the new battery is only produced on a trial basis in Tesla's Fremont, but Panasonic has already established large-scale battery production facilities in the Berlin plant and other locations. At the same time, the Suminoe Plant in Osaka City will be used as candidate plants to introduce trial production equipment and invest billions of yen.

According to industry analysts, although Tesla is a global leader in the field of electric vehicles, it is still a latecomer and follower in the field of power batteries. Musk himself also mentioned that mass production is hundreds of times more difficult than Ru0026D. Therefore, in terms of mass production and leadership, Tesla also needs a professional power battery manufacturer. Among them, will Panasonic, Ningde era, and LG Chem perform a Three Kingdoms era?

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