According to local media reports in Germany, Tesla's plan to produce electric car batteries in Germany will be delayed until at least 2024. In addition to avoiding Europe's energy crisis and fighting for U.S. industry subsidies, the 4680 battery mass production challenge also appears to be a roadblock to the German factory's construction schedule.
German newspaper "Handelsblatt" said Friday, citing multiple sources close to the plant, that battery production plans for the Greenhead plant have been put on hold due to " significant delays" in a key but highly complex technology for the electric car maker.
The outlet also reported earlier that Tesla was moving some battery production equipment from Germany back to the U.S. plant in Texas. At the time, the media generally interpreted it as the savvy electric car giant shifting its batteries to local production in order to meet the requirements of taking subsidies from the Biden government's electric car industry. But now it seems that the difficulties preventing the German factory from producing batteries may not just be commercial considerations.
4680 Battery mass production issues are back on the table
According to the report, the German factory will only retain the equipment for producing electrodes, and all other machinery related to battery production will be shipped back to the United States. The report says Tesla's move is intended to focus on the first deployment of the dry-coating process in the U.S. factory.
Musk unveiled the 4680 battery at the 2020 Battery Day event, which generated a lot of industry attention because of its dramatic cost reduction and range increase. While the first Model Ys with the 4680 battery were delivered this year, progress on the production side of this key technology has been rather uneventful. Tesla officials have also said that this technology is also one of the bottlenecks that hinder the mass production of 4680 batteries.
It is reported that, compared to the traditional wet process, dry coating process because it does not require drying, recycling treatment of toxic binding solvents and other steps, production costs, factory space and energy consumption are significantly reduced. The sources said that the current test system using this technology is running smoothly, but the lack of large-scale mass production applications.
According to Tesla's plans, the superfactory in Texas will achieve mass production of the 4680 battery within this year, while the German plant originally had plans to deploy production of the 4680 battery in early 2023, but now it seems to have changed.
In response to the latest development, EV industry media Electrek commented that it was a logical decision for Tesla to choose to finalize the production process at one plant before deploying elsewhere. And if rumors of Tesla's German plant using BYD blade batteries are true, the EV leader may already have enough battery supply to pull up the German plant's capacity.