Tesla and Panasonic are reportedly freezing their plans to add more battery production lines at Gigafactory 1, its massive factory outside of Reno, Nevada that is a cornerstone to the automaker’s business. “The partners had planned to increase capacity by 50 percent next year, but financial problems have forced a rethink,” reports TechCrunch, citing a report from Nikkei. “Nikkei also reported that Panasonic was suspending a planned investment in Tesla’s automotive battery and EV plant in Shanghai.” From the report: TechCrunch confirmed that Tesla is not adding more battery production lines and will instead focus its efforts on existing equipment. Tesla stressed that it will continue to make new investments as needed into the plant. However, the automaker noted that attention and investments might be focused on improving existing equipment to increase battery cell output.
As of November, Panasonic had 11 production lines operating at Gigafactory 1. Panasonic president President Kazuhiro Tsuga told Bloomberg that the company planned to add two more lines by the end of the year to bring total capacity up to 35 gigawatt-hours. The last number shared by Tesla is from July when the company reported an annualized run rate of 20 gigawatt-hours of capacity. It’s not clear if those two production lines were added. “We will of course continue to make new investments in Gigafactory 1, as needed. However, we think there is far more output to be gained from improving existing production equipment than was previously estimated,” a Tesla spokesperson wrote in an emailed statement.
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