Despite the fact that Tesla has begun the production of lithium-ion battery cells at its massive Gigafactory, there are is still so much information hanging in the balance. However, prevalent speculations indicate that more details will be revealed at an upcoming event, whereby Kurt Kelty, Tesla’s Senior Director of Cell Supply Chain & Business Development will be in attendance. His counterpart, Jeff Dahn, the battery cell research partner will also be present.
The March 22 International Battery Seminar & Exhibit will see Kelty, who is one of Tesla’s top battery scientists give a keynote presentation dubbed “Gigafactory Material Sourcing and Cell Production.” Given that that he has previously worked for Panasonic Corporation’s (ADR) (OTCMKTS:PCRFY) battery division he has the knowledge and expertise on battery technology, which Tesla needs in its new venture.
Tesla believes in automation and efficiencies
Tesla’s desire has always been to produce electric cars in truly large quantities and this is what resulted in the conception of the Gigafactory. Given that it is now billed as the largest factory of its kind in the world, it is expected to provide the volume and economies of scale necessary for Tesla. Besides, the automaker believes in placing most manufacturing operations under one roof, which is also expected to help in lowering cell costs. Apparently, some pack assembly work was already underway before cell production began. This was necessitated by the fact that Gigafactory is being built in phases all in the name of efficiency. The current structure represents just 30% of the intended size.
The production of cells will be in partnership with Japanese electronics giant Panasonic
Tesla is not taking up the cell production venture independently. It has incorporated Panasonic, which was also part of designing the cylindrical “2170” cell. The emphasis was on the optimization of performance and packaging while keeping production costs low. The company’s plan now is to begin shipping upgraded Powerwall 2 battery packs for home energy storage. At the same time, it expects to expand further the Gigafactory, which is has a footprint of 1.9 million square feet.
As all that unfolded, Tesla’s stock was trading at $237.75 witnessing an increase of $8.16 or 3.55%.