Tesla’s 4680 battery cell pilot production line achieves 70-80% efficiency: report
Tesla has a number of programs that have the potential to change markets, and arguably one of them is the 4680 cells. Created using a dry electrode process and optimized for price and efficiency, 4680 batteries could very well be the key to Tesla’s possible invasion of the automotive and consumer power market. If Tesla succeeds with its 4680 production ramp, its place at the top of the sustainable energy market would be almost assured.
Unfortunately, Tesla’s publicly disclosed target for the 4680 cell production ramp appears to have been achieved on “Elon Time.” This means that on Battery Day last year, Tesla’s goal of reaching 10 GWh of capacity by the end of September 2021 included optimistic assumptions. Similar to other projects like Elon Musk’s Alien Dreadnaught Factory, however, pilot production of the 4680 cells encountered some challenges.
Tesla admitted these difficulties during the second quarter 2021 earnings call, when Elon Musk explained that one of the main challenges of the 4680 cell production ramp relates to the timing of the batteries, or the process when the Dry cathode material is crushed at a particular height. . Partly due to the use of nickel in the 4680 cells, which are extremely hard, some of the calendar rollers end up getting dented.
This was a problem that only arose in the 4680 pilot line, not during the benchtop and lab phases. Tesla’s senior vice president of powertrain and energy engineering Drew Baglino, however, pointed out that the challenges of the Kato Road facility are an engineering issue, not a scientific issue. This meant that with enough work and optimization, Tesla should be able to fix dry battery cell timing issues.
Citing sources familiar with the matter, investor Tesla and YouTube host Hyperchange Channel Galileo Russell recently shared some details suggesting that Tesla may have made inroads with the production of 4680 cells. According to investor Tesla, the production efficiency of 4680 cells has reached around 70-80%, compared to around 20% l last year. This means that a declining portion of the 4,680 cells produced today is having trouble, and Tesla’s line of pilot batteries at Kato Road is starting to come close to acceptable yields from factories like Giga Nevada.
As the delays in 4680 cells appear to have affected the rollout of products like the Cybertruck and Semi, it is starting to become apparent that Tesla is on the verge of achieving a respectable battery output from its pilot line in California. Fortunately, the company has already put emergency measures in place to address the delays of the 4,680 cells. Production of the Model Y at Giga Berlin and Giga Texas would kick off with 2,170 battery packs, for example, at least until all 4,680 cells are available.
To concern Hyperchangeon Tesla’s 4680 battery production challenges in the video below.
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