Panasonic delays 4680 cell mass production; Nio poised to use semi-solid-state batteries

Peng Chen, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0

Credit: AFP

Tesla battery supplier Panasonic said on May 10 that it had rescheduled the mass production of 4680 battery cells to next year. On the other hand, China-based EV company Nio filed to equip its models with semi-solid-state batteries, aiming to offer a better driving range.

Panasonic operates a pilot production line for 4680 cells at its Wakayama factory in Japan. Reuters reported that the company had planned to start volume production between April 2023 and March 2024 to support Tesla.

According to Panasonic's earnings report on Wednesday, it rescheduled the mass production to begin between April and September 2024. It said the delay would help the company introduce performance improvement measures to enhance competitiveness further.

Tesla has already been making the cells in its California and Texas plants to support Model Ys. It said the output was enough for more than 1,000 cars each week as of the end of last year.

Drew Baglino, senior vice president of powertrain and energy engineering at Tesla, said last month that the EV maker aims to steadily ramp up 4680 cell production before starting to manufacture the Cybertruck in 2024.

On the other hand, China-based Nio recently filed vehicle specification changes with the country's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. According to CnEVPost, the EV company added semi-solid-state batteries to the battery information of three models, including two SUVs and one sedan.

Huzhou WeLion Technology, a Beijing WeLion New Energy Technology subsidiary, will supply the semi-solid-state batteries to Nio, CnEVPost reported.

WeLion New Energy Technology has been one of Nio's suppliers. The battery maker started building a production base in Huzhou two years ago and saw the first solid-state battery cell come off the line in November 2022.

Nio announced the 150-kWh semi-solid-state battery at the beginning of 2021. Multiple Chinese news reports said the high-cost battery technology can offer an energy density of up to 360Wh/kg.

Qin Lihong, Nio's co-founder and president, said in February that customers can start renting the 150-kWh battery pack this summer, with an option of purchasing the battery coming in the future.