Tesla has given a sneak preview of its 4680 cell production that will happen at Gigafactory Berlin in its latest recruitment video on LinkedIn. The video shows several tiny details of the production process that might be of interest to the competing automotive companies in addition to the potential employees.
Tesla unveiled the 4680 form factor cell at the hallmark Battery Day this year. Tesla is already producing these cells at the pilot production plant (Magic Cube) at the company’s Fremont factory. According to Elon Musk’s presentation at the Battery Day, Tesla is ramping up 4680 pilot production to 10 GWh annually. “Actual production plants will be more in the order of 200 GWh/year, maybe more,” he said.
The rate of construction and development at the Tesla Gigafactory Berlin suggests that this will be the first location for full scale 4680 cell production. This is the reason Tesla is inviting engineers to join Giga Berlin to experience the most advanced cell manufacturing on the planet as of now. Tesla wrote in the job description at LinkedIn:
At Tesla, we build cars and factories from the ground up. Now we do the same for batteries.Tesla (TSLA)
Earlier this year, Tesla also acquired a sinking battery assembly company in Germany, looks like the workforce acquisition from that factory is not enough to fill the jobs at Giga Berlin cell plant.
One genius idea behind the 4680 cell‘s 80mm height is that it enables continuous motion cell manufacturing just like the bottle production at beverage companies. This speeds up cell production many folds compared to the current procedure currently in practice at the Gigafactory Nevada cell manufacturing facility.
A Reddit user who is himself a cell chemistry engineer expressed what he saw in the video in his comment:
While you’re waiting, the opening shots appear to be showing the production of one of the electrodes on a roll-to-roll coating process (0:02). This electrode is then sandwiched (positive electrode, separator, negative electrode) and the sand, which is then spun into a cylindrical cell (0:05). These cells are then loaded into canisters which you can see later in the video.
They don’t show (or it isn’t clear to me) the injection of the electrolyte which (I think) normally happens after the cylinder is put into the canister. It’s possible they are injecting it in one of the shots and I can’t tell, they could be injecting it off-screen, or they could be using a newer solid-state or quasi-solid state electrolyte.
I’m more familiar with the fundamentals of individual cell chemistry, less with the manufacturing of commercial cells, so I may be off!
We can see a lot of robots working on the cell manufacturing lines in the above video, but Tesla still needs humans, so you can apply here for cell manufacturing and innovation-related jobs here.
What find details did you catch in this video? Let us know in the comments section below.