During the recently held Q2 2022 earnings call, Elon Musk and other Tesla executives discussed several aspects of the 4680 battery cell production ramp. While 4680 cells are only being used on limited vehicles for now, Tesla executives highlighted that the development of the new battery technology is ongoing.
There were quite a number of questions during the earnings call focused on Tesla’s 4680 cells. One of them asked if Giga Texas was already producing its own 4680 batteries, seeing as it is the factory producing Model Ys equipped with structural packs. Tesla Senior Vice President, Powertrain and Energy Engineering Andrew Baglino addressed the inquiry.
According to the Tesla executive, Tesla is making progress on its 4680 project. But for now, the company is still leveraging supplier cells, which are so far enough to support a ramp in Giga Texas and Gigafactory Berlin. “We expect to ramp total 4680 production to exceed 1k per week by the end of the year, hopefully before — well before,” Baglino said.
That being said, Baglino also highlighted that the Kato Road facility, which hosts Tesla’s pilot 4680 production line, has made a breakthrough of sorts. This resulted in the Kato Road facility growing its output 35% month-over-month.
“In Q2, at Kato, we fully automated power conveyance for the dry anode-electrode tool there, unlocking major increases in production and improvements in yields. Since March because of that, Kato’s output has grown about 35% month-over-month each month since, and yields throughout the factory are already at targets in most areas and trending in that direction and a few others.
“We did feed learnings from Fremont cell and pack lines to Texas and Berlin there, a carbon copy. Cell design was revved to unlock higher performance and manufacturing simplicity. Manufacturing lines were further integrated, and we in-sourced additional content. For these reasons, there are some new ramp challenges to overcome in Texas and Berlin,” Baglino said.
The Tesla SVP of Powertrain and Energy Engineering added that for now, Tesla is aiming for Gigafactory Texas to exceed the weekly output of the Kato Road pilot line by the end of this year. If Tesla is successful in its endeavor, the company could start fully committing to the rollout of its 4680 cell-equipped vehicles like the Cybertruck and the Tesla Semi.
“Specific to Texas last quarter, cell equipment was fully installed and commissioned and we produced our first commissioning car sets of cells through the end of the line. Our target for Texas is to begin production this quarter and aim for Texas to be capable of exceeding Kato weekly output before the end of this year,” Baglino explained.
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