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Blockbuster! Tesla abandons production of 4680 battery!


On June 26, according to foreign media reports, due to unsatisfactory energy density and charging performance, and higher costs, Tesla is considering stopping the production of 4680 batteries at the Giga Texas factory in Texas. If the cost reduction does not achieve the expected effect by the end of the year, Tesla will abandon 4680 battery production and turn to external suppliers.

Review the road to the Tesla 4680

Four years ago, in 2020, Tesla launched a 4680 large cylindrical lithium-ion battery on its battery Day. Compared with the 2170 cylinder battery, the battery size is larger, the use of non-polar ear technology, the single capacity is higher, and the production cost of the battery can be effectively reduced.

Look at a set of data: in the Q4 of 2023, Tesla's financial report shows that Tesla invested $3.969 billion (about 28.8 billion yuan) in research and development throughout the year. In Q4 alone, it spent $1.094 billion (about 7.95 billion yuan), an increase of 35% over the same period last year, which is the highest research and development investment in Tesla's history.

By the Q1 of 2024, Tesla's earnings conference showed that the production efficiency of 4680 was only 18%-20% higher than that of Q4.This is the performance of the Tesla 4680 mass production efficiency encountered bottleneck.

Reasons for abandoning 4680

It is understood that the dry coating technology of the battery electrode that the 4680 battery initially promised to use and can greatly improve the production efficiency has not yet been successfully realized. In the nearly four years since the Tesla 4680 battery was released in 2020 to the present, Ningde Times, BYD and other companies have reduced the battery cost to 0.4 yuan /Wh. As a comparison, it is reported that the cost of manufacturing 4680 batteries may still be in the range of 0.8-1 yuan /Wh, which is more than twice the battery of Ningde era and BYD. In addition, the safety, cycle life and charging speed of the Tesla 4680 battery are weaker than mainstream batteries. The 4680 battery can no longer become Tesla's cost reduction and quality improvement in the short term.

Tesla has freed up a lot of battery space

 On the one hand, Tesla hopes that through the new technology of 4680 large cylinder batteries, electric vehicle batteries can store more energy, last longer, and be cheaper, and eventually be used in Tesla's full range of electric vehicle products, including electric trucks and electric sports cars. On the other hand, Tesla also hopes that by using lithium iron phosphate materials, the 4680 cylinder battery will be applied to the energy storage field with broad market prospects and is expected to exceed automobile production in the future.

"Our long-term goal is to produce more than 1,000 GWH of batteries inside Tesla," Musk said in response to an investor's question. Today, assuming Tesla no longer produces 4680 batteries, about 1,000 GWH will become Tesla's demand for batteries. Japan's Panasonic, South Korea's LG New Energy, Samsung SDI, are producing or will soon produce 4680 batteries. There are also quite a number of enterprises in China that are producing or will soon produce 4680 batteries, including Ningde Times, Bic Battery, Billion Wei Lithium Energy, Zhongchuang New Aviation, Rupu Lanjun and so on. It can be expected that there will be more power battery companies that will soon enter the list of Tesla battery suppliers!

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