It appears that Tesla is solving its bottleneck manufacturing problems that were partially responsible for a $ 619 million loss in the last quarter. But the company's solution could be causing a global shortage of batteries.
According to a report by the Korean news outlet ETNews, Panasonic recently delivered most of its battery battery in Japan to Tesla so that the automaker and energy storage company could keep up with their ambitious production schedule. Tesla and Panasonic operate Gigafactory 1 in Sparks, Nevada. Tesla mainly uses the factory to produce electric vehicle batteries, as well as Powerwall and Powerpack batteries for energy storage in the home.
Panasonic is the largest supplier of automotive lithium-ion batteries in the world. Tesla manufactures battery packs for its vehicles by adding its own technology to battery cells manufactured by Panasonic.
At the beginning of October, Tesla had problems with a "production bottleneck", but at the end of the month, Panasonic declared that it would increase battery production. in the Gigafactory, now that he understood the problems that led to the bottleneck and could automate some of the processes that had been done by hand.
But this probably did not help Tesla solve problems of immediate shortages. ETNews says that Panasonic is addressing the shortage by sending batteries from Japan. And many Japanese companies that need cylinder batteries have turned to other suppliers such as LG, Murata and Samsung, but those companies have not been able to meet the demands.
Reportedly, companies that had contracts before 2017 are not affected by the shortage, but several other manufacturers have not been able to order batteries and will not be able to order more batteries until the middle of next year.
It is worth noting that this report comes only from ETNews, which cites anonymous sources in Japan's battery industry. Electrek, a news site covering electric transport, has expressed skepticism in its own report: "We understand at this point that Tesla's problems in Gigafactory 1 are with the production of battery modules, which creates a bottleneck for the production of Model 3 battery packs. Electrek editor Fred Lambert writes: "Model 3 battery packs are made with 2170 battery cells manufactured by Panasonic at the factory. Unless Tesla and Panasonic are not being clear about the problems in Gigafactory 1, there is no reason for them to send cells from Japan for the production of Model 3. "
Tesla did not respond to a request for comment on the report.