After A Cold War With Panasonic For Half A Year, Tesla Decided To Build A Battery Production Line

- Sep 12, 2019-

In Tesla's recently updated job postings, there was a demand for battery manufacturing, confirming the news that Tesla will produce its own batteries.

The job posting says: Currently, we are looking for engineers for our production line, and you will be part of our new product line. This is the first time Tesla officially mentioned that they have a battery production line. According to the recruitment information, the new battery production line is located in Fremont, California.

In February, Tesla acquired battery manufacturer Maxwell, and recently there were media reports that Tesla is producing battery manufacturing equipment in a laboratory in Fremont. In the past six months, Tesla executives have repeatedly mentioned the limitations of battery production for Tesla's production capacity, and from time to time revealed plans for self-built battery production lines.

At Tesla's June shareholder meeting, CEO Musk mentioned that the launch of Tesla products is currently limited by the size of the battery production. Former CTO JB Straubel added: "We need a large-scale battery production solution." When working at Tesla, Straubel was responsible for Tesla's battery business.

And Tesla has always been a battery supplier, is Panasonic.

In July 2014, Tesla and Panasonic announced the “Super Factory” agreement, and the two companies established a joint venture. Panasonic has a production line at Tesla's GigaFactory 1 in Nevada to supply batteries for the Model 3. Panasonic also supplies batteries to Toyota and Honda.

However, starting from 2018, with the speed of delivery of Model 3, Panasonic's production and operation pressures have gradually increased. The two companies began to disagree because of capacity problems. In Panasonic's view, the entire electric vehicle market has not reached its own expectations, so it is not willing to take risks to invest in expanding battery capacity. In Tesla's view, Panasonic is the "culprit" to limit Model3's capacity.

Last month, Tesla announced a partnership with LG Chem, which will supply batteries for Tesla's car production in China. This has shown signs of termination of the partnership with Matsushita, and plans to produce batteries are coming out.

Tesla decided to build its own battery, in addition to cost considerations, more to increase production capacity. Self-built battery production lines can gradually reduce the restrictions on mass production of various factors, including battery supply, to adapt to the pace of expansion in the global market. At the same time, once the battery is self-produced, Tesla does not have to share relevant data and resources with external suppliers or partners.

The acquisition of Maxwell is based on its leading dry electrode technology. The energy density specification of Maxwell batteries, Bitsla's own battery is 20-40% higher, and is expected to increase the battery density from 40% to 140%, greatly improving the Tesla car range. This makes the car more environmentally friendly because it does not use solvents.

This recruitment notice shows that Tesla's own battery can be put into production as soon as next year.