Tesla Gigafactory boost, Semi and future product, GM batteries: Today’s Car News


Cylindrical batteries are being considered by GM, according to a report from South Korea. Tesla is ramping up its new battery cells in Nevada for much more than the Semi. And will Tesla tease more about a Robovan, a Model 2, or something completely different in just over a month? This and more, here at Green Car Reports.

Tesla announced a $3.6 billion expansion of its Nevada battery “Gigafactory” that it says will produce the Semi plus the company’s new-format 4680 battery cells at 100 gigawatt-hours annually—enough U.S.-made batteries for 1.5 million light-duty vehicles, it says. Most noteworthy, perhaps, were the manufacturing gains and how Tesla aims to make that level of battery capacity with a smaller facility than what it currently needs to make 35 gigawatt-hours.

That output is more than Tesla needs for the Semi, and it also teased the idea of several future Tesla products under development, some of which will be powered by 4680 cells and may be revealed as part of a March 1 Investor Day. As CEO Elon Musk said Wednesday—perhaps referring to why the Semi was delayed—new products need to match where (and when) the cells are available. 

And GM is reportedly mulling the possibility of cylindrical cells for future EVs. Although the report doesn’t suggest an all-out shift to the format like what BMW signaled last year, it would be a surprising turn for a company that has said it’s all-in on large-format pouch cells made by a joint venture with LG and now bankrolled partly by the DOE. 

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