Next year, Teslas are expected to get a major battery upgrade

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Photo: Thomas Niedermueller (Getty Images) – Up to a 20% improvement in range and a significant reduction in cost are promised by next-generation batteries. Teslas will soon turn another bend in their drive to put range anxiety in the rearview mirror as manufacture of next-generation batteries becomes closer. According to a Nikkei story, Panasonic plans to begin mass manufacturing new lithium-ion batteries as early as 2023, which might extend electric vehicle range by up to 20%.

With a 4680 cell (46mm by 80mm), you may use fewer cells and yet obtain more juice since the capacity is five times more than the previous generation. Specifically, the extra cells would improve the Model S’s range from 650 kilometers, or 405 miles, to 750 kilometers, or 465 miles, according to a report.

In addition, since you don’t need as many batteries, this might lead to reduced EV pricing because batteries are 10-20 percent cheaper to create (batteries make up about 30 percent of the cost of an EV, according to Nikkei). There are six times more powerful cells and a 14 percent reduction in cost per kWh for the next generation, according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

High costs have kept EVs from being widespread, and the least costly electric cars—the Nissan Leaf, Mini Cooper SEV, and Chevy Bolt—have ranges of less than 300 miles. As a result of pricing increases, Tesla’s Model 3 has risen from $45,000 to $46,000.

Panasonic, Tesla’s primary battery supplier, is allegedly spending $704 million on new equipment at its Wakayama prefecture factory to create the batteries. A single facility is believed to have the capability to equip 150,000 electric vehicles, or around 20% of Panasonic’s total manufacturing capacity.

Prior to major production in 2023 and perhaps spreading production to other nations, Panasonic will begin generating small batches of these batteries as early as March of this year. Panasonic refused to comment on the Nikkei article in a statement to Reuters.

We’re looking at a variety of solutions, including a test manufacturing line that we’ll begin this year,” the firm said. “At this point, we don’t have any new information to provide.”

To further lessen its need on third-party suppliers, Tesla wants to develop and manufacture its own in-house solutions. Although Tesla CEO Elon Musk indicated in September that the business aims to expand purchases from Panasonic, LG Chem, and CATL, he warned of “severe shortages” in 2022 and beyond unless the company supplements those batteries with its own.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk expects the company to begin manufacturing its own 4680 cells this year and to begin shipping the first electric vehicles powered on those batteries in 2022, beginning with the Model Y. On Jan. 26, Tesla will have its next earnings call, which might provide some light on the company’s forthcoming product plans..