Tesla (TSLA) is getting new battery cells from Panasonic with faster charging capacity

We can expect Tesla vehicles to get a bump in charging speed as the automaker is reportedly about to get new battery cells produced by Panasonic at Gigafactory Nevada with faster charging capacity.

Earlier this year, Panasonic announced an extra $100 million investment in Gigafactory Nevada, its partnership with Tesla to produce battery cells exclusively for the electric automaker.

As part of the announcement, Panasonic said that it will increase the energy density of cells produced at Gigafactory Nevada by 5% and the total output by 10%.

Now we are learning more about the new cells that are about to be produced at the factory.

Celina Mikolajczak, a former longtime battery expert at Tesla and now vice president of battery technology at Panasonic Energy of North America, gave a talk for Stanford StorageX International Symposium and released more information about the battery cell:

She said that Panasonic is currently (as of October 16) converting its production lines at Gigafactory Nevada to produce the new cells.

But she added that they not only have 5% higher energy density — they also have “excellent fast charge performance.”

Mikolajczak said:

Right now we are converting lines to increase energy density. It’s a great new cell that is going to be ready soon. It got excellent fast charge performance with that increased energy density which is really exciting.

She didn’t elaborate on when the new cells are going to start shipping out to Tesla, but it is either already happening or about to happen soon.

Gigafactory Nevada produces battery cells for Tesla’s Model 3 and Model Y.

Those vehicles recently got efficiency improvements resulting in longer ranges, which led people to think that Tesla might already be using the new battery cells.

However, that hasn’t been confirmed yet and we haven’t seen a improved fast-charging capability being tested yet.

Tesla Model 3 and Model Y vehicles can already be charged at a top rate hovering around 250 kW, but they can’t sustain that for long before tempering down.

Electrek’s Take

Wouldn’t it be awesome if the new cells enabled Model 3 and Model Y to charge at 250 kW for up to like 50% state of charge?

That would be a game changer.

It would significantly reduce time spent at Supercharger stations — increasing the capacity of the network without even having to expand it with faster chargers.

I might be getting ahead of myself here, but I am hoping for something like that.

What do you think this new fast charging capacity can enable? Let us know in the comment section below.

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