Tesla Gigafactory Nevada is getting a new battery cell production line as Panasonic invests an additional $100 million, according to a new report coming out of Japan.

The report is coming out of Nikkei, a business publication in Japan that follows Panasonic closely.

They wrote today:

“The investment will be made in Gigafactory 1, a battery plant in the U.S. state of Nevada with 13 production lines. Panasonic will add another line, increasing capacity by 10% to 39 gigawatt-hours per year.”

They also said that Panasonic is about to improve the energy capacity of the cells by 5%:

“This is the first capacity expansion at Gigafactory since it opened in 2017. Panasonic is also upgrading the batteries being produced at Gigafactory, raising each battery’s storage capacity by 5%, starting in September.”

This is in line with recent comments from Yasuaki Takamoto, a Panasonic executive in charge of Tesla battery business in the US, about increasing energy density in the batteries produced at Tesla Gigafactory Nevada.

The timing of the upgrade in September also matches Tesla’s planned “Battery Day,” which should be held on September 22.

We contacted Panasonic about the Nikkei report, and we will update if they have a comment.

Electrek’s Take

Nikkei is generally on point when it comes to its Panasonic reporting, but the total capacity doesn’t add up to me.

In December, Panasonic said that it was getting ready to increase production capacity to 54 GWh per year — not 39 GWh.

Hopefully, Panasonic gives some clarity on the capacity, but I doubt it.

Just last month, after a bad episode of the TV show Super Factories at Tesla Gigafactory Nevada that stated a production capacity “13 million battery cell per day,” Panasonic said the rate was inaccurate and refused to confirm the actual rate.

Anyway, the improvement in energy density seems to be a better bet following the comments Takamoto.

A 5% increase in September would add about 2 GWh of capacity alone. That’s a big deal.

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