Four major battery suppliers are currently amplifying their production and are hoping to acquire significant orders for Tesla’s new 4680 battery, which has yet to be installed on its vehicles. Samsung and LG Chem, which are currently testing the completed battery samples, may become the winners of this competition.
With its announcement of the new 4680 battery at the Battery Day event last year, Tesla has made it clear that it would be deploying its own in-house production lines for future battery products. At the same time, it is also hoping that its original supplier partners would prepare for the production of the new 4680 battery as early as possible.
Panasonic, the battery supplier who has been working with Telsa for the longest time, commented at the end of June that the company is well prepared to invest a substantial amount into the production lines for the 4680 battery, and that the mass production of these batteries can commence as soon as the prototype production line passes the test.
However, the two major South Korean battery suppliers LG Chem and Samsung SDI are also following closely behind Panasonic in the race. According to a source yesterday, both suppliers have completed the 4680 battery samples, and are currently in full throttle for test preparation.
Apart from the three prominent suppliers, CATL is also setting its sights on the orders of Tesla. Although the company has yet to disclose the actual production plan for the 4680 battery, the foreign media had once revealed that it will be working with Tesla on establishing a new battery plant in Shanghai with an annual capacity of 80GWh. It remains to be seen whether this plant’s production line will be used for the new batteries or for the production of the existing LFP batteries.
Regardless of what CATL is aiming for, the battery supply contract from global EV leader Tesla, who aims to produce 1 million units in 2022, has naturally become the most critical battlefield. With the exception of Samsung, most of the major global battery suppliers have already entered the supply chain of Tesla. However, Samsung is still expected to generate a sizeable level of revenue from the EV maker next year.
Samsung SDI is currently preparing for its first battery plant in the US, and has placed its priority on the supply chain of Tesla. According to the latest reports from the media, the company has managed to acquire the orders for the photographic lens of Tesla’s electric truck Cybertruck, which presents an opportunity for it to penetrate into the local EV production market in the US.
The 4680 battery contains 5 times the energy of existing batteries, and are much cheaper to produce, with more energy preserved from its process. Tesla is planning to integrate this large columnar battery with the body of its vehicles to preserve both space and weight, as well as maintain safety. However, the new battery has yet to be seen on any of Tesla’s models after almost a year since the announcement.
Panasonic was once expected to begin the supply of the 4680 battery starting from as early as the second half of 2021. A revolution is bound to emerge in the battlefield of EVs once Samsung and LG catch up to the race. The battery production lines from both the Giga Berlin-Brandenburg and the Giga Texas will commence operation starting from next year.
(Cover photo source: Tesla)