Tesla is privately building own EV battery cells: report

Surprise move could make Palo Alto car firm 'masters of their own destiny'

28 June 2019 - 09:19 By AFP Relaxnews
Tesla reportedly has its own battery cell-manufacturing facility in the works.
Tesla reportedly has its own battery cell-manufacturing facility in the works.
Image: AFP

On Wednesday it was reported that a handful of Tesla employees had revealed that the company is developing its own battery cells to become "masters of [their] own destiny".

Five Tesla employees told CNBC that the company is privately working to reduce its dependency on Panasonic for EV battery cells by creating its own cell-manufacturing facility.

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Because the battery pack and cells are the most expensive parts of an electric vehicle, and the component whose limited supply is slowing the production of Tesla models, producing its own parts would give Tesla greater control over its manufacturing process.

Tesla founder Elon Musk has publicly stated that Panasonic is the reason the Model 3 production has been dragging. In fact, he claimed that the cell lines at their shared cell-manufacturing facility in Nevada are "operating at only two-thirds of their capacity".

According to the employees, research surrounding this manufacturing project is taking place at a lab just a few minutes away from the company's Fremont, California, plant. If Tesla-branded cells do take off, it could lead to a drop in vehicle prices as fewer costs would be sent to vendors, partners or other third-party suppliers.