An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: In a Tuesday interview with Bloomberg, the head of Panasonic’s Automotive Division said that the company was on track to complete an additional three battery-cell production lines at Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory before the end of this year. That puts the expansion ahead of schedule for completion. Panasonic is a joint owner of the Gigafactory. The company provides the “2170” battery cells that go into a Model 3 battery pack. Tesla packages those cells to complete the pack. In the interview, Panasonic automotive executive Yoshio Ito told Bloomberg that “the bottleneck for Model 3 production has been our batteries.” Ito added, “they just want us to make as many as possible.”
In short, more battery cells rolling off more lines at the Gigafactory are good for Model 3 production only if the manufacturing process gets smoother. There’s evidence that this is happening, as the company was able to sell more than 28,000 Model 3s in the second quarter of 2018, albeit at the slight expense of Model S and Model X production. The three new Panasonic lines will bring the number of cell-producing lines up to 13, Bloomberg wrote. Ito told the news service that Tesla is currently using all of its Gigafactory capacity to produce vehicle batteries, despite initially planning to reserve 30 percent of its capacity to build stationary storage batteries like Powerwalls and Powerpacks. That has played out in long-delayed Powerwall installations.
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