Tesla has released a rare update on 4680 battery cell production, which is critical to launching the automaker’s upcoming new electric vehicle programs.

The company confirms that there’s still some work to do.

The 4680 battery cell was unveiled at Tesla’s Battery Day in September 2020.

The automaker presented several new pieces of technology that combined together result in a more energy-dense cell that could reduce costs by 50%.

One of the most significant improvements that 4680 cells bring to the table is the ability to build a structural battery pack that makes the pack part of the vehicle structure – reducing parts, weight, and cost.

Tesla has been running a pilot factory for the new battery cell in Fremont where CEO Elon Musk has been guiding reaching a production capacity of 10 GWh by the end of 2021.

Today, with the release of its Q2 2021 financial results, Tesla released a rare update about its progress toward that goal:

We have successfully validated performance and lifetime of our 4680 cells produced at our Kato facility in California. We are nearing the end of manufacturing validation at Kato: field quality and yield are at viable levels and our focus is now on improving the 10% of manufacturing processes that currently bottleneck production output. While substantial progress has been made, we still have work ahead of us before we can achieve volume production. Internal crash testing of our structural pack architecture with a single-piece front casting has been successful.

In short, Tesla managed to get some progress done, but they still have more work to do before achieving any volume production.

The 4680 battery cell is expected to power several of Tesla’s upcoming new vehicle programs, including Tesla Semi and Model Y, produced at Gigafactory Texas and Berlin.

Once Tesla has figured production at the Kato facility, it is expected to deploy high volume 4680 battery cell capacity at those new factories under construction.

Tesla has previously disclosed 4680 battery production goals of 100 GWh by 2023 and 3,000 GWh by 2030.

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