36Kr reported on Tuesday that Tesla is now looking for a 4680 cylindrical battery partner in China. The EV maker is in negotiation with its current battery suppliers CATL and LG Chem, and several other major cylindrical battery companies, including EVE Energy Co., Ltd. and BAK Battery.
CATL and LG Chem now supply Tesla with square LiFePO4 batteries and cylindrical 2170 cells respectively.
One of the EVE partners told 36 Kr that the cooperation under discussion included the design of the 4680 cells and subsequent manufacturing of them.
Another source says that the 4680 cylindrical cell is a new type of technology. In general, the industry as a whole won’t start mass production until 2023 as many companies haven’t even produced samples yet.
EVE is famous for its LiFePO4 battery technology and is based in Huizhou, Guangdong Province. The company became a part of Xpeng Motors’ supply chain earlier this year. Ji Yajuan, director of EVE Basic Materials and Tech Research Office, said that EVE has worked on both the 4680 and 4695 cylindrical batteries, and would gradually increase its production of large cylindrical batteries in the market after 2023.
Last September, Tesla released a much larger cylindrical Li-ion cell in a new format called 4680. Compared with its previous 2170 cells, the 4680 battery has a larger size, 6x higher output power, 14% less cost per kWh and that vehicles sporting the 4680 cells have 16% longer cruising range.
At the teleconference of its Q2 financial report, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced to have confirmed the performance and existence of the 4680 cells and that the company was focusing on the manufacturing process. In the future, semi trucks and Model Ys produced in its Giga Texas and Giga Berlin plants may adopt the 4680 cells.