Is Tesla’s 4680 Battery Production Still a Major Bottleneck for Cybertruck? Analyzing the Latest Reports

Samantha Miller

Tesla’s next-generation 4680 battery cell is key to delivering vehicles with massive range improvements like the delayed Cybertruck electric pickup.

However, a concerning new report from Reuters claims that Tesla is still facing major issues with 4680 cell dry coating production that is bottlenecking Cybertruck output.

In this article, we analyze these latest claims, provide context around Tesla’s 4680 production ramp, and discuss what it could mean for the automaker’s ambitious roadmap.

The Reuters Report: Claiming Major 4680 Dry Coating Setbacks

On December 8th, 2022, Reuters published a report citing nine anonymous sources that claim Tesla’s Gigafactory Texas is only producing 4680 battery cells at a rate to power around 24,000 Cybertruck units per year – approximately a tenth of the output needed.

The report goes on to state that the central issue in ramping up production is within the cell’s dry coating process – specifically coating the cathode component.

Tesla is reportedly struggling to rapidly mix the cathode materials and bind them to the metallic foil without using any moisture. This is a key innovation with 4680 cells that eliminates the time-intensive drying process traditional lithium-ion cells require.

Reuters does have a history of publishing misleadingly negative reports regarding Tesla production issues. However, if accurate, this latest update seems to confirm that Tesla is still working through scaling its 4680 dry coating process for mass production.

Contextualizing Tesla’s Overall 4680 Plans

Earlier this year in Tesla’s Q2 2022 earnings call, Drew Baglino – SVP of Powertrain and Energy Engineering, stated that the automaker already has two 4680 production lines running at Gigafactory Texas. The goal is to ramp that to eight lines by the end of 2024.

So while 24,000 cells per year may not be enough to satisfy full-scale Cybertruck production demand yet, it likely meets Tesla’s near-term needs as it continues scaling dry coating advancements and brings more cell production capacity online.

Plus, Tesla has also been supplementing initial 4680 supply from its pilot production line in Fremont. Once the Texas lines stabilize, the automaker should be on track to hit targeted Model Y range numbers and potentially unbottle necked Cybertruck output as well.

What This Means for Tesla’s Future Roadmap

The 4680 battery cell is absolutely essential to Tesla delivering on the massive range and cost improvements it has been touting.

It’s hard to get these cutting-edge cells made on a large scale using advanced dry coating, but it’s necessary if cars like the Cybertruck that can go over 500 miles and the $25,000 small car are to become real.

Considering the early stage of productuon scale-up though, it is no surprise that Tesla is still smoothing out inconsistencies with its innovative manufacturing process.

As Musk and Tesla work to crack 4680 production over the next year, it may lead to continued deferred timelines for Cybertruck and other models needing high volumes of the more affordable cells.

The Reuters report does raise valid concerns around one of Tesla’s most pivotal operations. But with Gigafactory ramp still ongoing and technology improvements in the pipeline, it’s too early to say whether 4680 troubles will be major long-term impediments or temporary hurdles on the road to electrifying transport at mass market prices.

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Samantha Miller is a business and finance journalist with over 10 years of experience covering the latest news and trends shaping the corporate landscape. She began her career at The Wall Street Journal, where she reported on major companies and industry developments. Now, Samantha serve as a senior business writer for, profiling influential executives and providing in-depth analysis on business and financial topics.
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