Tesla has access to all the battery cells it needs for the first time, according to Martin Viecha, the vice president of investor relations at Tesla.
If you have been following Tesla for a long time, there’s a term you should be extremely familiar with by now: production constrained.
For years now, Tesla has been trying to dispel rumors that it has any problem with demand and always replies that its main issue in ramping up electric vehicle deliveries has been its production capacity.
There have been many different bottlenecks in the production and supply chain over the years, but the most common one has been battery cells.
Tesla was the first company to utilize li-ion battery cells in production vehicles and since then, every automaker has rushed to secure the supply of the battery cells for their own EV ambitions. This has resulted in very limited availability of battery cells in the industry.
Only over the last year, we heard Tesla say for the first time that battery cells weren’t actually a concern.
Now Martin Viecha, the vice president of investor relations at Tesla, said Monday during a presentation at the Goldman Sachs tech conference in San Francisco that Tesla currently has all the supply it needs (via Business Insider):
“For the first time I can remember, we can access all the supply we need for both businesses.”
Viecha is referencing “both businesses” because for the longest time Tesla had to limit its production of energy products, like Powerwalls and Megapack, to use its battery supply for its electric vehicles.
Recently, we see the result of the higher availability of battery cells with new record output for both Powerwalls and Megapacks.
The executive is crediting Tesla expanding beyond just Panasonic and adding new battery suppliers like CATL and LG Energy Solutions for the higher battery cell supply.
Tesla itself plans to add to the supply with the volume production of its own 4680 battery cell by the end of the year at Gigafactory Texas.
However, Viecha also warned that the supply chain will need to keep growing at a record pace to support the industry:
“This is the most important part of how this industry can growth in the future. If the industry can 10X from here, the supply chain will need to 10X as well,”
Tesla plans to contribute through deeper investments throughout the supply chain with its recent off-take agreements with both junior mining companies and established mining giants.
I am truly happy for Tesla, but unfortunately, it’s not the case for everyone. Other companies are still having issues getting battery cell supply and especially smaller startups developing new vehicles.
I have been really encouraged by the massive investments in battery production and all the way down the supply chain lately, but I think there’s still a lot more to go.
Tesla and other large automakers need to keep helping finance new mining project for lithium, nickel, manganese and other critical resources for battery production before prices get completely out of control.
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