Panasonic has announced a 5% increase in the energy capacity of its 2170 lithium-ion cells and a reduction in the use of cobalt in them. The updated batteries will begin production at Tesla's Nevada plant starting in September this year. Panasonic currently operates 13 production lines at the Gigafactory, which allows it to produce 35 gigawatt hours of batteries per year. All 13 lines will receive an upgrade in the coming months.
Tesla is equipping Model 3 and Model Y electric cars with 2170 batteries. Using batteries with larger cells should increase the range of these cars. At the same time, reducing the use of cobalt, which is a rather rare and expensive chemical element, in theory, will reduce the cost of producing batteries. The head of Panasonic's US electric battery business said the company aims to increase the capacity of its lithium-ion cells by 20% over the next five years, as well as to release a commercial version of the battery that does not use cobalt.
It is possible that we will find out more information on September 22 at the Battery Day event, which is organized by Tesla. The company is expected to introduce a one-million-mile battery.