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Panasonic plans to start building these new products in the first quarter of 2023.
Panasonic Energy, the company that supplies American electric vehicle giant Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) with batteries for its cars is working on improving its battery technology over the next decade. According to an exclusive Reuters report featuring the firm’s Executive Vice-President and Chief Technology Officer, Shoichiro Watanabe, the company is looking at increasing its battery density by 20% in 2030.
Per the estimated performance increase should the feat be achieved, the new crop of batteries will be able to give the Tesla Model Y another 100 Km (62 miles) driving range with the same battery size, these superior batteries can also permit auto manufacturers to build cars that are lighter in weight while not changing the driving range.
Batteries are the most important components of an electric car, and despite the complexity and difficulty in producing them, the demand has continued to grow remarkably. Based on these factors, EVs are typically highly-priced, a trend that makes cars unaffordable for the average earner.
In a world where electric vehicles are becoming commonplace amongst car manufacturers, the quest to build more affordable cars with enhanced capabilities has become commonplace. The proposed new generation of batteries from Panasonic will enable the company, and Tesla, by extension, to maintain their lead in the EV world if achieved.
According to Watanabe who is in charge of Intellectual Property, Manufacturing, Quality, and Procurement, the company will achieve manufacture of these denser batteries with a new mix of additives that will allow individual cells to run at a higher voltage without damaging the batteries’ performance.
“The race among battery makers has been to come up with more potent and effective additives,” he said.
This scoop from Reuters is the first time adequate insight will be gained into Panasonic Energy’s proactive strides into designing a more superior battery tech beyond what it currently manufactures and supplies to Tesla.
Additional Panasonic Batteries Improvement
With much research and development underway for Panasonic Energy in the next decade over its projected production of denser batteries, the company is also exploring other important innovations that will improve its products altogether.
One of these improvements according to Watanabe is that the firm has found a way to reduce the rate of degradation of its batteries. He highlighted that the company plans to do this by adding more potent additives to the battery’s electrolyte.
Dubbed the 4680 batteries, Panasonic plans to start building these new products in the first quarter of 2023. While not giving a specific date when the new battery sets will be launched, Watanabe noted that their rollout will be gradual until it has met its performance targets accordingly.
The current battery cells supplied to Tesla have a 4.2 volts capacity, a figure Watanabe said is on track to be boosted beyond 4.4.
“If we can get that to 4.5 or 4.6 volts, I think the whole world view in terms of what’s possible for EVs would change,” he said.