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Panasonic’s new “2170” lithium-ion battery cells will improve energy density by 20% over the next five years, the company said Thursday.
The “2170” lithium-ion cells were first used in Tesla’s Model 3 in 2017. The battery already has the highest density, but the latest development should make an impact on the range of Tesla’s vehicles. Panasonic said the battery density has already been improved by 5%.
The new cells will be produced by Panasonic at Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada. Reuters reported that Tesla will start converting manufacturing lines at the factory in September.
Panasonic also intends to commercialize a cobalt-free version “in two to three years,” in an effort to reduce dependency on materials mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo where there are controversial labor conditions.