Tesla is having issues producing 4680 cells for Cybertruck, sketchy report says

Tesla is reportedly having issues producing 4680 battery cells for the Cybertruck, but the report is a bit a sketchy.

Today, Reuters released a report claiming that Tesla is having major issues with its 4680 battery cell production, and it is a “one of the main bottlenecks” in making the Cybertruck:

Tesla’s Giga Texas factory is currently churning out 4680 battery cells at rate only sufficient to power about 24,000 Cybertrucks a year, or about a 10th of the required output, according to Reuters calculations based on a combination of public data and unpublished figures provided by sources.

Now, Reuters has a history of misleading negative reports about Tesla, as we highlighted in a recent report. So, we always take them with a grain of salt.

As for this one, regardless of battery cells, Tesla wouldn’t be producing the Cybertruck at a rate of 24,000 units per year at this point. Therefore, it would make sense to throttle the battery cell production to match its overall production capacity for the brand-new Cybertruck.

On the other hand, the report does claim that 9 people told Reuters that Tesla is still having significant issues with its dry-coating technology for the 4680 cell:

The nine people, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, said Tesla had yet to crack dry-coating at the industrial scale needed to make 4680 batteries fast enough to hit its production targets.

The report specifically claims that the issue is with dry coating the cathode.

They added:

The sources said Tesla was struggling to mix the cathode materials, which include lithium, manganese and nickel, with a binder and stick them to a metallic foil to produce a cathode – without using moisture.

Tesla didn’t comment on the report, but Drew Baglino, Tesla’s SVP of engineering, did previously say that the automaker was able to ramp up battery production at two lines at Gigafactory Texas and it plans to have 8 lines by the end of 2024.

The company will only deploy all lines once it can replicate the success of the first two lines consistently.

Electrek’s Take

I say “sketchy” because I seriously doubt 4680 is a major bottleneck in Cybetruck production right now. I think they just linked it to the pickup for clicks.

But there might be some validity to the claim that Tesla still having issues with the dry coating technology. It’s worth keeping an eye on that as 4680 cell production is critical to Tesla’s future’s EV programs.

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