Panasonic is currently in the initial stages of the mass production of new lithium-ion batteries, which will help increase the range of electric vehicles by up to 20 percent according to a new report. The new batteries will be initially manufactured for Tesla as early as 2023. Also Read - Tesla is on my mind 24/7, says Elon Musk amid concerns over Twitter distraction
According to a new report by Nikkei Asia, Panasonic is looking to invest about $705 million in production facilities, which will make new batteries for Tesla from as early as 2023. The batteries which will be manufactured at the production facilities will be twice as big as previous versions and will have a fivefold increase in energy capacity. Also Read - Hackers can steal your Tesla, smartphones using a simple Bluetooth hack
It is being said that the 4680 cell will boost the range of electric vehicles. These new cells will increase the Model S’s range from about 650 km to around 750 km. Also Read - Elon Musk says Twitter deal ‘cannot move forward’ until it proves bot claims
The report further states, that before entering mass production, the company will initially start with making the cells on a small scale this year. This will help it develop a safe and efficient method of producing the batteries.
With the $705 million investment, the company is apparently looking to expand its Wakayama, Japan plant to mass-produce the new batteries.
To recall, the head of Panasonic’s battery division back in November had stated that the company hasn’t ruled out producing the cells for other automakers. However, Tesla will remain its top priority. But Tesla CEO Elon Musk has other ideas, with him stating that his company will continue to buy battery cells from other companies. “We intend to increase, not reduce battery cell purchases from Panasonic, LG & CATL,” Musk said in a tweet.
In other news, Moody’s upgraded Tesla’s debt rating by two notches to “Ba1” from “Ba3”. It expects Tesla to maintain its position as the leading battery electric vehicle manufacturer. The rating’s agency in a note affirmed that Tesla’s outlook remains positive and the company will continue to increase its scale rapidly and improve its profitability.