Panasonic to Make Tesla ‘Top Priority’ for 4680 Battery Cell Supply

Earlier this month, Japanese parts supplier Panasonic announced plans to begin producing Tesla’s 4680 cells in 2023, and a new update confirms that the company will deliver batteries to Tesla first.

Panasonic says it plans to prioritize Tesla in the supply of 4680 battery cells, once the company is “actually able to deliver” the technology, according to MarketWatch.

Panasonic CFO Hirokazu Umeda said, “Tesla has put in an extremely strong request for the 4680, so when we are actually able to deliver the 4680, we plan to put top priority on Tesla.”

In addition, Panasonic revealed its prototype for Tesla’s 4680 battery in October, ahead of plans to start trial production on the next-generation battery this year.

A spokesperson from Panasonic also said the company’s partnership with Tesla made up about 60 percent of the company’s energy arm revenue, which reported 194.3 billion Japanese yen ($1.69 billion) in the three months prior to December 31.

The Panasonic CEO also said shipments of batteries to Tesla were marred by backlogs at ports in recent months, but did not specify locations.

Even with the U.S. automaker at the forefront of its close ties, Panasonic has said it will need electric vehicle (EV) partnerships beyond its relationship with Tesla.

While Tesla recently said new models are not its focus at the moment, Panasonic shared last year that the delivery of the 4680 battery cell could unlock a long-rumored $25,000 USD EV.