The Japanese Panasonic will start mass producing lithium-ion batteries for Tesla that will give drivers 20% longer range than previous versions. These batteries will cost 10% to 20% less to produce these new batteries. The company will invest about 80 billion yen ($705 million) to mass-produce a new type of lithium ion battery for electric vehicles from as early as 2023. The next-generation will compete with rival South Korean and Chinese battery makers, the Nikkei reported.
Panasonic is expanding its plant in Wakayama prefecture and bringing in new equipment to mass produce these new batteries. The amount of energy stored in the battery determines the range of the EV, and range is a big deciding factor when consumers decide on which EV is right for them.
Back in 2019, the companies signed a 3-year agreement in which Panasonic started manufacture and supply lithium-ion battery cells at the Gigafactory in Nevada.
Tesla request Panasonic to began developing the new 4680 battery cells, which had plans to produce those batteries itself, although it is unclear if those plans extend to mass production. Tesla Model S has a range of about 650 km which would increase up to around 750 km with this new generation battery.