In a uncommon interview, Panasonic’s EV battery boss offered a glimpse of the corporate’s response to the bigger battery cells promoted by consumer Tesla. Talking to Bloomberg, Yasuaki Takamoto mentioned greater cells are the important thing to reasonably priced electrical automobiles, however indicated he is not satisfied by Tesla’s proposed cell format.

Tesla introduced its 4680-format cylindrical cell as its future throughout its Battery Day final 12 months, but it surely hadn’t then produced any important quantity of them. Musk introduced it as doubtlessly halving cell price over time.

Future Tesla cell will make energy, power gains

Future Tesla cell will make vitality, energy positive aspects

On the time, Tesla mentioned the format—46 millimeters extensive by 80 millimeters lengthy—was the candy spot, permitting for price reductions with out points with high-speed charging and thermal administration noticed with bigger cells. For comparability, the Panasonic-supplied cells within the Mannequin 3 and Mannequin Y are 2170-format—21 millimeters extensive by 70 millimeters lengthy.

Within the interview, Takamoto mentioned bigger cells would allow actually reasonably priced EVs as a result of fewer could be wanted to energy a automotive, saving on manufacturing prices. Nonetheless, he nonetheless appeared considerably skeptical of the bigger format.

The larger cells would even be tougher to supply, are vulnerable to overheating, and are extra inclined to particle contamination, Takamoto mentioned. That is a frequent explanation for battery fires, which happen when small items of metallic work their manner right into a cell and trigger it to brief circuit, he mentioned.

Whereas these feedback make it tough to inform whether or not Panasonic sees the 4680 format as worthwhile, rival battery provider LG Chem could also be prepared to leap on that bandwagon. A March report mentioned the South Korean firm is planning to assist Tesla produce the large-format cells starting in 2023, probably at a United States manufacturing facility. 

A few of Tesla’s upcoming autos will probably rely on the larger cells. In October, CEO Elon Musk mentioned that the ramp-up of the Semi is dependent upon how quickly they’ll ramp up manufacturing of the brand new cells. They may even be necessary for the Cybertruck.

Tesla is planning to ramp up manufacturing of the brand new cells past their present pilot line in California—ultimately to its Texas manufacturing facility, and maybe to Germany. In January, the corporate marketed battery-production jobs at each websites on Twitter.