Tesla Motors has started mass production of lithium-ion battery cells at its Gigafactory, kicking off output of the key component for its Model 3 electric car after the company said a day earlier its 2016 deliveries were shy of estimates.
The Elon Musk-helmed firm said the batteries will also be used in its energy storage devices, according to a statement on Wednesday. The cells were designed along with Panasonic “to offer the best performance at the lowest production cost in an optimal form factor for both electric vehicles and energy products.”
Tesla has been moving ahead with its plans to lower the cost of batteries for its Model 3, a version of its electric car that was announced last year and touted as a more affordable option than its other versions. The cells produced from Wednesday will be used in Tesla’s Powerwall 2 and Powerpack 2 energy products, while output for Model 3 cells will follow in the second quarter.
“Our cost of battery cells will significantly decline,” Tesla said. “By bringing down the cost of batteries, we can make our products available to more and more people, allowing us to make the biggest possible impact on transitioning the world to sustainable energy.”