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Tesla Gigafactory Battery Assembly Line Upgrades Are Ahead of Schedule

Panasonic planned a 30 percent increase of Tesla's battery-building capacity by year's end, and the improvements are arriving sooner than expected.

Tesla Motors’s battery supplier for its Model 3 midsize sedan, Panasonic, expects its improvements to the automaker’s battery assembly facilities will be completed sooner than initially projected.

To fix the “production hell” slowdowns that plagued early manufacturing of the Model 3, Panasonic recommended an expansion of Tesla’s battery pack assembly lines at its Nevada Gigafactory from 10 to 13 in total. Tesla agreed to the changes, and according to Bloomberg, a Panasonic executive has confirmed that the new production lines—expected to be done by the end of 2018—are on track to be completed sooner.

“The bottleneck for Model 3 production has been our batteries,” explained Yoshio Ito, head of Panasonic’s automotive wing, in a Tuesday interview cited by Bloomberg. “They just want us to make as many as possible.”

Ito also revealed that Tesla anticipated only 30 percent of the production capacity of the Gigafactory would be taken up by battery pack construction, but that unexpected demand has forced the facility to build nothing but battery packs.

The Drive reached out to Tesla for comment on when its new assembly lines will become active, and we will update when we receive a response.

Tesla accomplished its delayed self-imposed goal of building 5,000 Model 3s per week in the twilight of its second quarter, its next goal being 6,000 per week. CEO Elon Musk stated in a blog post earlier this month, however, that the company will build and deliver double the number of vehicles in its third quarter than it did in its second quarter. Also expected at the end of its third quarter is Tesla’s first profitable quarter in company history, with more potentially on the way, with production of the base $35,000 Model 3 reportedly on its way in spring of 2019.