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Tesla supplier announces improved cells for better, cheaper EVs: ‘We will expand battery capacity and improve productivity at the same time’

It’s good news for savvy car buyers looking to take advantage of the advanced EV tech.

It’s good news for savvy car buyers looking to take advantage of the advanced EV tech.

Photo Credit: iStock

Panasonic is continuing its commitment to American-based electric vehicle battery manufacturing, and the latest news should leave EV shoppers happy. 

The company announced that it intends to produce a better version of the company’s 2170 battery cell used in the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y, per Electrek. The news is touted by Panasonic leaders as one that could lower EV costs

“We will expand battery capacity and improve productivity at the same time,” Panasonic CTO Shoichiro Watanabe told Bloomberg. 

The electronics giant makes about 10% of the world’s EV batteries. The new 2170s will be made in the company’s Nevada plant, which is operated in partnership with Tesla, within the next two years, Electrek reported

The company has been making plenty of battery tech headlines lately. A deal with California-based Sila will provide silicon anodes for Panasonic cells, replacing commonly used graphite ones. Officials say the new material could help to provide a 500-mile range with a 10-minute charge, per Electrek. 

It’s all part of Panasonic’s effort to stuff more energy into cells while reducing costs — all while churning out more power packs. In fact, the company plans to “quadruple production capacity by the 2030 fiscal year,” per Bloomberg. 

Also in development are 4680 cells that should pack more punch. Bloomberg reported that the numerical name defines the innovation’s dimensions: 46 millimeters in diameter by 80 millimeters long (1.8 inches by 3.1 inches).

The investment seems likely to be a smart bet for Panasonic, which is based in Japan. 

Data collector Statista reported that EV sales revenue this year is projected to hit $623.3 billion globally. A bar graph on the report shows the steep increase in EV sales (including hybrids) by vehicle volume, increasing each year since 2016 and by millions each year since 2020. The total is projected to be at more than 17 million vehicles worldwide in 2028. 

It’s good news for savvy car buyers looking to take advantage of the advanced EV tech

For Panasonic’s part, a new battery plant is being constructed in Kansas. Bloomberg reported that it’s the second one in North America, and details on a third facility should be released this spring. 

The Inflation Reduction Act has incentivized battery cell building in the U.S. via subsidies. Bloomberg reported that Panasonic is expecting an operating income boost of $587 million by March. 

“Decisions about where to position new facilities are extraordinarily complex and are based on a wide range of factors,” a Panasonic spokesperson said to Bloomberg in regard to the growth. 

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