It appears that Tesla will be getting 4680 cells from another prolific battery manufacturer. As noted in recent reports, Samsung SDI is reportedly preparing a pilot line for 4680 battery cells at its Cheonan plant in South Korea.
Tesla’s 4680 batteries are expected to play a crucial role in the company’s efforts to ramp its battery technology over the coming years. Measuring 46 mm in diameter and 80 mm in length, the 4680 cells should provide Tesla with substantial cost and manufacturing efficiencies.
Citing sources familiar with the matter, South Korean tech publication TheElec noted that Samsung SDI will be verifying its 4680 battery technology within the year. If successful, Samsung could end up joining some of its rivals like Panasonic and LG Energy Solutions as Tesla’s suppliers for its next-generation batteries.
Tesla is also producing its own 4680 cells in-house. The batteries, which are currently being produced in the company’s Kato Road facility close to the Fremont Factory, are reportedly being deployed in Giga Texas’ Model Y units.
Interestingly enough, it is not just Tesla that is placing orders for Samsung’s next-generation cells. According to the tech publication’s sources, Samsung is also working on a 46 mm cell that’s a bit shorter than Tesla’s 4680 batteries. This battery is reportedly being requested by German automaker BMW.
Samsung’s pilot line for its Tesla 4680 batteries will reportedly have an annual capacity below 1 GWh initially, though expectations are high that the company could eventually increase its production of the next-generation batteries to about 8 GWh to 12 GWh annually. While the initial line will be built at the Cheonan, South Korea plant, mass production of the 4680 cells will likely be done at Samsung SDI’s battery plant in Seremban, Malaysia.