Battery production and supply will almost certainly become the number one factor limiting EV adoption. In fact, it’s already the case, and the situation just got much more complicated related to the ruling against SK Innovation. However, Tesla is taking major steps to assure that battery availability doesn’t impact it nearly as much as its rivals.
Tesla already has its own battery factory, in partnership with Panasonic. It also has various deals and partnerships with other global battery makers, and it has acquired a few battery-related companies. Moreover, Tesla plans to build more battery factories, and will eventually produce its own 4680 cells. The company is already making the cells and testing them in vehicles, though a mass-market operation is planned for the future.
Recent reports about Tesla’s plan to build and operate a battery production plant in conjunction with its Gigafactory in Berlin provided much information, but there was no word on the timeline. We know that factory construction in Berlin is moving along rapidly, and Tesla has plans to start building the Model Y crossover in Germany as soon as the middle of 2021.
We’re also aware that Tesla will receive a portion of a $3.5 billion aid package, which it plans to use for the 4680 battery cell facility in Germany. Now, according to Bloomberg, Economy Minister Jörg Steinbach says Tesla’s German battery factory could be up and running in as little as two years.
This all makes perfect sense since Tesla likely won’t be able to hit its future production targets at multiple global factories without having a constant supply of battery cells at its disposal. The automaker can’t simply count on other global battery makers to meet its needs, especially since most legacy automakers, in addition to several startups, are moving forward with massive electrification efforts.