Panasonic Wants To Help Tesla Boost Battery Pack Production

Tesla’s Gigafactory 1 outside Reno, Nevada, is going gangbusters to make enough battery packs to satisfy the demand for the company’s electric cars, but it’s only barely keeping up. However, according to Bloomberg, Tesla’s battery partner Panasonic thinks it can swoop in and help boost production to a combined 35 gigawatt-hours to help eliminate that bottleneck.

Panasonic had been planning on assisting with increasing production at Gigafactory by adding three additional production lines by the end of 2018, but given the circumstances in which Tesla finds itself currently, Panasonic is moving the installation of those lines up ahead of schedule, according to a statement by Yoshio Ito, head of Panasonic’s automotive division.

Production numbers for the Model 3 — which uses a unique, larger new cell, as opposed to the more common 18650 cells found in the Model S and Model X — are up, but we’re still a long ways off from seeing the kinds of numbers that Tesla promised. The 10,000 cars per week goal, which was initially set for this year, has been pushed to next year by CEO Elon Musk, and with that being the case, it seems unlikely that we’ll see the fabled $35,000 Model 3 before that, if ever.

According to Bloomberg, Tesla’s plan to use 30 percent of Gigafactory’s production capacity to build energy storage systems like Powerwall has gone right out the window, with the company needing to use every ounce of its production power to meet EV battery demands. With Tesla’s second Gigafactory in China in the works, that may change in the future, but probably not anytime soon.