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Elon Musk confirms Tesla ‘high volume’ battery cell production won’t start until 2022, will affect Cybertruck, Semi, and Roadster

Elon Musk confirmed today that Tesla’s “high volume” battery cell production won’t start until 2022 and therefore, it will mostly affect the Cybertruck, Tesla Semi, and Roadster programs.

Tesla is going to hold its Battery Day tomorrow – an event where the automaker is expected to announce its plan to build its own battery cell on a massive scale.

As we reported last week, Tesla is currently building a pilot production line for its new battery cell in Fremont and it is building new equipment as it learns from this pilot line:

“Tesla is currently building a pilot production line to produce those cells in volume in Fremont. Tesla Grohmann, the company’s automation group, is currently building the machines for higher-volume production based on what they are learning from the pilot line, according to a source familiar with the matter.”

Therefore, volume production is not expected for a little while.

Considering the new battery cell is expected to greatly improve the performance of its vehicles, it was raising questions about Tesla’s rollout of the new cells since the automaker doesn’t usually announce upgrades to its existing vehicle lineups until they are available.

Now Elon Musk has clarified the situation – saying that “high volume” production won’t happen until 2022 and it will especially be for the Tesla. Semi, Cybertruck and Roadster vehicle programs:

“Important note about Tesla Battery Day unveil tomorrow. This affects long-term production, especially Semi, Cybertruck & Roadster, but what we announce will not reach serious high-volume production until 2022.”

Musk also confirmed that Tesla plans to continue to buy batteries from its current suppliers and even possible others:

“We intend to increase, not reduce battery cell purchases from Panasonic, LG & CATL (possibly other partners too). However, even with our cell suppliers going at maximum speed, we still foresee significant shortages in 2022 & beyond unless we also take action ourselves.”

Tesla is going to hold its battery event tomorrow after its Shareholders Meeting, which is starting at 1:30PM Pacific time.

Electrek’s Take

That answers something that we have been wondering over the last few weeks.

We have discussed it on the podcast last Friday:

Basically, despite those cells being better than the current cells being used in Tesla’s vehicle programs, they won’t talk about adding them to those vehicles until volume production is happening.

That will protect sales – at least to a degree.

However, Elon does mention “serious high-volume production” won’t happen until 2022. This is would indicate that Tesla will still achieve a decent level of production before that.

What kind of volume though? Hard to tell. Enough for Model S and Model X? I don’t know.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

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