Tesla and LG in talks to produce 4680 battery cell at new factory

TruckElectric

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Fred Lambert
- Mar. 9th 2021 5:51 pm ET
@FredericLambert


Tesla-4680-Battery-cell-hero-e1603050647892.jpg

Tesla and LG Energy Solutions are reportedly in talks to produce the automaker’s new 4680 battery cell at a brand-new factory potentially in Europe or the US.

LG became one of Tesla’s official battery partners when it started supplying battery cells for the Model 3 vehicles produced by the latter in China.

It became only the second battery manufacturer, after Panasonic, to have its cells validated to be used in Tesla vehicles.

Since Tesla unveiled its own new battery cell designed in-house, the 4680, LG has been talking about expanding its role as a supplier for the electric automaker.

Last month, we reported on LG building a new pilot production line at a factory in Korea to produce the new Tesla battery cell.

Now Reuters reports in an exclusive that LG is planning to build Tesla’s new battery cell at a new factory that is going to be either in the US or Europe:

“LG plans to produce 4680 cells at its new US factory. They plan to build a new 4680 cell line to supply Tesla’s Giga Berlin in Europe,” one of the sources said, adding Spain is one of [the] candidates for the European plant.
LG has never produced such a large cylindrical battery cell, but Tesla has developed a new design and manufacturing techniques that enables a 46mm by 80mm cell.

Reuters sources said that Tesla hasn’t placed any orders with LG yet for the 4680 battery cell:

“He said LG has not yet secured orders from Tesla for the 4680 cells, still under development. For now, Tesla is sharply boosting orders for 2170 cells used in the Model 3 and Model Y vehicles made in China, the source said.”
4680 battery cell production at a new LG factory for Tesla would happen in 2023, according to the report.

Tesla has indicated that it plans to produce the 4680 battery cell itself at its own factories, but the automaker still plans to purchase battery cells from suppliers, and it has even discussed having suppliers produce its new battery cell designed in-house.

Panasonic has also been discussing building Tesla’s 4680 battery cell.


SOURCE: ELECTREK



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NEWSTesla battery supplier LG plans for new 4680 cells in 2023 in U.S. or Europe: Reuters
CREDIT: EVMADRID/INSTAGRAM
work-pic-update-80x80.jpg

ByJoey Klender
Posted on March 9, 2021

Tesla’s 4680 battery cells could be produced by LG by 2023. According to sources, the cells, which will power Tesla’s all-electric vehicles, could be built in production sites that LG is considering in either the United States or Europe.

While Tesla and LG have not yet agreed to a deal that would see the battery supplier taking on a more robust role beyond its job in China, the company plans to build a factory in the United States that would make cells of EVs and energy storage systems, a source told Reuters.

The idea behind the production facility would be to cater to both U.S. and international customers, including startups. While it didn’t list any companies, in particular, one of Reuters’ sources indicated that it was hoping Tesla would be a client.

n September, the 4680 cells, which were unveiled by Tesla during its Battery Day event, aim to revolutionize the EV company’s already mainstream and popular products. While cutting costs and increasing energy density through new production processes and materials, Tesla plans to develop its new 4680 cells in-houseat a production facility just down the street from its Fremont Factory in Northern California. Kato Road, as it is called within the Tesla community, is the building where Tesla’s battery project continues on.

LG Chem has made samples of the 4680 cells, the sources said, but scaling up production has been the real challenge.

“LG plans to produce 4680 cells at its new U.S. factory. They plan to build a new 4680 cell line to supply Tesla’s Giga Berlin in Europe,” the source told Reuters.

While LG is not familiar with building and mass-producing large cylindrical cells, Tesla is a company that the battery supplier is willing to take risks for because the rewards could be exponential. The source, who wished to remain anonymous, said, “Tesla is a major customer, and LG can take risks.”

Additionally, LG hasn’t secured any orders from Tesla for the 4680 cells. 2170 cells are still being used and are in rising demand, as the Model 3 and Model Y are widely popular in China, and LG continues to provide cells for both projects.

LG currently supplies battery cells to GM in a $2.3 billion joint venture. It also supplies batteries to Tesla in China, but so does CATL, another battery supplier. Lucid Motors is also in a partnership with LG Chem, and the two companies have a multi-year deal.

SOURCE: TESLARATI
 
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4680 is a size, it does not include the tabless design, it does not include the anode and/or cathode material (or any of the other unique chemistry).
If Tesla comes out saying it licensed some of these other technologies for LG to make batteries for Tesla, then I would see thinking Tesla had put a lot of trust in LG...
But nothing like that has been said.
 

firsttruck

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4680 is a size, it does not include the tabless design, it does not include the anode and/or cathode material (or any of the other unique chemistry).
If Tesla comes out saying it licensed some of these other technologies for LG to make batteries for Tesla, then I would see thinking Tesla had put a lot of trust in LG...
But nothing like that has been said.
Yup, those are critical questions.

Another important one from Tesla battery day is the dry battery technology that allowed a huge reduction in toxic liquids used, lower energy use (no ovens), reduced factory space.
 

Crissa

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LG has never produced such a large cylindrical battery cell
No one has produced such a large cylindrical cell! Sheesh. LG isn't unique here. Both articles said it, too.

4680 is a size, it does not include the tabless design, it does not include the anode and/or cathode material (or any of the other unique chemistry).
If Tesla comes out saying it licensed some of these other technologies for LG to make batteries for Tesla, then I would see thinking Tesla had put a lot of trust in LG...
But nothing like that has been said.
The 4680 doesn't work without the tabless design. And Tesla won't be buying cells that don't incorporate their particular chemistry.

Tesla never really says until the factory opens. And lately, they haven't said anything at all. (No PR dept to put out announcements or answer questions.)

-Crissa
 
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