If Tesla is to power on with its goal of ramping up production of the Model 3, and continue to deliver the profits it finally achieved in the third quarter of 2018, one thing is certain – it’s going to need a lot of EV batteries.
CEO and founder Elon Musk tweeted on the weekend that the EV maker is, in partnership with Panasonic, producing around 60 per cent of electric vehicle lithium-ion batteries.
Tesla itself made around 20GWh in Q3, and another 4-5GWh of cells reportedly sourced from “Japan and elsewhere”. The rest of the world could muster just 19-20GWh. That share speaks to Tesla’s market share, and the size of its battery packs in the Models S, X and 3.
Musk previously said in last month’s Q3 earning call, that, “We are making a pretty nutty amount of the world’s lithium-ion batteries.”
In response to an article by Teslarati, Musk said, “Amazing results by @Panasonic at Tesla Gigafactory Nevada! Very much appreciate extreme hard work it took to achieve this result. Together with Pana Japan cell plants, Tesla/Pana partnership is producing ~60% of global EV battery output!”
While Panasonic warned of battery supply shortages back in June, it seems it has resolved whatever issues were holding the electronics giant back.
Musk’s team said, “Also, Panasonic supply is expanding, as productivity of existing lines continuing to improve,” adding that by the end of the year another line of supply would be available, followed by another next year.”
Asked if Panasonic would have a hand in production of batteries at the upcoming China gigafactory, Musk would only confirm that cells would be sourced from local companies including Panasonic, with module and pack production completed by Tesla.
Electronics giant LG has also announced plans to open another EV battery plant in China, and says it will produce 1.5 million EV batteries per year by 2020 – meaning even on conservative estimates (average battery size of 60kWh) that Tesla could have a serious competitor producing 20+GWh of batteries per quarter.