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Tesla announces it has produced 1 million next-gen 4680 battery cells

Tesla has announced that it has produced 1 million of its next-generation 4680 battery cell at its pilot factory in California.

The announcement comes as Tesla is expected to start deliveries of its new Model Y equipped with its 4680 cell and structural battery pack.

In 2020, Tesla unveiled its new 4680 battery cell, a new tabless cylindrical cell in a much bigger format that the company claimed produces six times the power and five times the energy capacity while significantly reducing the cost.

Since the unveiling, Tesla has been producing the 4680 cells at a “pilot production facility” in Fremont and deploying large-scale production at other factories, including Gigafactory Texas and Gigafactory Berlin.

While Tesla is calling it a “pilot factory,” the automaker had announced a goal to produce 10 GWh of battery cells at the plant, which is more than many other full-scale battery cell factories.

Last month, Tesla’s SVP of engineering, Drew Baglino, said that Tesla was making “meaningful progress” in ramping production at the pilot plant, but he didn’t confirm the production capacity.

Now Tesla has announced that it has produced its one-millionth 4680 cell at the Kato road facility in January:

It’s not exactly clear from the phrasing, but it sounds like, as of January, Tesla has produced 1 million 4680 cells.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t give us much information, since the current production rate is the most important metric to know what kind of vehicle production Tesla can achieve from the capacity coming from the pilot plant.

At roughly 1,000 cells per car, 1 million cells is enough for about 1,000 Model Y vehicles to be produced at Gigafactory Texas.

That’s not enough, but if Tesla is able to produce 100,000 4680 cells per week, it would enable the production of 100 Model Y vehicles per week, which would be a good start as the 4680 cells ramps up parallel to Model Y production at the new factory.

Tesla’s upcoming 4680 battery cell / Source: Tesla

Last month, Baglino also said that Tesla doesn’t expect 4680 cells to be a bottleneck for Model Y production ramp at Gigafactory Texas, and he said the company was also making progress in deploying larger scale 4680 cell production at the new factory.

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