Panasonic investing $700 million into factory upgrades to build advanced Tesla batteries

This upgrade should increase Tesla's range by 15 to 20 percent

Starting in 2023, Panasonic aims to begin producing a new battery at a factory in its home country of Japan that will increase the range of Tesla’s electric vehicles.

This information comes courtesy of the Japanese financial news publication The Nikkei. However, Reuters notes that the information — precisely the 15 to 20 percent range increase in Tesla vehicles — appears to be unverified or from a source that the paper isn’t naming. With this in mind, I’d place this news in ‘leak’ territory.

That said, Panasonic has shown off a more efficient ‘4680 Battery’ in the past. Further, Tesla has mentioned that its new battery design can increase range by 15 percent at a prior Battery Day.

Panasonic has officially told Reuters that it’s looking at various options to begin mass production and has started work on a test production line to be established later this year.

“We don’t, however, have anything to announce at this time,” said the publication in a statement to the publication.

In a prior report, the battery company told The Wall Street Journal that it plans to start testing the battery in March 2022.

The leak suggests that Panasonic will add a section to its plant in Wakayama, Japan, to produce the batteries as soon as the end of the year. This add-on is slated to cost around $700 million USD (roughly $884 million CAD).

Tesla is also working to produce its own 4680 batteries in-house, though the company is reportedly struggling to ramp its mass production up.

Source: Reuters, The Nikkei, The Wall Street Journal