Tesla is expanding Giga Shanghai, adding pouch battery cell production

Tesla has applied to expand Gigafactory Shanghai to produce over 1 million vehicles and add pouch battery cell production.

Gigafactory Shanghai is a significant success story for Tesla.

The factory went from beginning construction in December 2018 to starting production in December 2019.

Within just two years of starting production, it became the biggest/most productive electric vehicle factory in the world by a wide margin.

Its production rate has reached close to 1 million units per year.

Despite being Tesla’s most productive factory already, the automaker has been rumored to be planning to expand it and reach an even higher production rate.

Now we learn that Tesla applied for an expansion that will enable the automaker to produce 1.75 million EV powertrains per year (via Reuters):

An undated public notice said the potential expansion would give the Shanghai Gigafactory the capacity to produce 1.75 million powertrain units annually, up from 1.25 million currently.

Furthermore, Tesla is also applying to produce its own battery cells at Giga Shanghai.

The automaker has moved to produce its own 4680 cells at Gigafactory Texas before, but in this case, the filing specifies that it would be to produce pouch cells.

Tesla has primarily been using cylindrical cells in its electric vehicles, but it started using pouch cells with LFP chemistry on its shorter-range vehicles.

The filing is currently only for a small pilot production line.

Electrek’s Take

The fact that Tesla plans to produce its own pouch cells at Giga Shanghai could indicate that the automaker is getting into LFP battery cell production.

If successful, Tesla would likely look to deploy LFP production in more markets as it is already concentrated in China.

Either way, Giga Shanghai is impressive. It’s easy to see why Tesla is now using the team behind the factory to work on Giga Texas and Giga Mexico. If the company can replicate the success of Giga Shanghai in those factories, it will go a long way toward its goal to reach an annual production capacity of 20 million vehicles by 2030.