On January 4, Tesla Motors announced the beginning of mass production of lithium-ion battery cells at the factory they call Gigafactory. Tesla’s traditional partner Panasonic will help in the production of the batteries.
Previously, Panasonic announced investment of $853 million in the project of solar panels Solar Roof , also produced by Elon Musk‘s company.
Gigafactory will produce batteries for the latest electric car of the company, Model 3. The production of Model 3 is planned for the second quarter of this year. Tesla and Panasonic plan to reach the production of 35 GWh/year in cells equivalent by 2018. At the same time, representatives of the company say that this figure will amount to almost half of the capacity of all batteries produced in the world. 6,500 people will be employed at the factory, and another 20-30 thousand jobs will be created indirectly.
Gigafactory will produce cells, in the form factor of the joint development of Tesla and Panasonic: high-performance battery 2170.
Manufacturers say the selected form factor has the optimal ratio of cost and capacity. These cells will become universal not only for the production of batteries for electric cars, but as the power source for other devices.
Thus, 2170 cells will be used in Powerpack and Powerwall, produced by Tesla Motors for accumulation and storage of energy for households and small enterprises. They are also considered as auxiliary devices for Solar Roof panels.
According to the authors, the concentration of production in one place and a significant increase in the automation process will seriously reduce the production cost, and as a result reduce the final cost of Tesla electric cars.