Panasonic Sends Tesla 4680 Battery Samples, Prepares for Production Surge

Panasonic has sent new 4680 electric vehicle battery cell samples to Tesla, ahead of expected surges in the automaker’s production using the next-generation batteries, according to Reuters.

The new batteries are expected to begin mass production starting in March 2023, beginning first at its Wakayama, Japan factory and later moving production to North America.

At the company’s annual investor event, Panasonic CEO of Energy Kazuo Tadanobu said, “A pilot line, created first in Japan, made it possible to start large-scale prototype production in May.”

The event seemed to corroborate reports that Panasonic will construct a U.S. EV battery plant in either Oklahoma, Kansas or Texas, as detailed by two people familiar with the matter.

Currently, Panasonic operates an assembly line out of Tesla’s Nevada factory, and the companies recently expanded the line to offer up to 39 GWh.

In May, Tesla requested that Panasonic speed up the development of the 4680 battery cells.

Panasonic only garners about 14 percent of its total revenue from the auto business, though the company expects the EV sector to climb 19 percent between now and March 2023.