The acceleration of mass production for 46-series batteries is poised to benefit Chinese battery supply chain firms as industry giants, including Tesla, collaborate with domestic companies like Rongbai Technology and Dongshan Precision to enhance 4680 battery production while simultaneously lowering costs. This progress highlights the domestic lithium battery sector’s considerable cost advantages, achieved through technological innovation and large-scale expansion.
First unveiled by Tesla in 2020, the 4680 large cylindrical battery boasts significant improvements in energy, power density, and cost-efficiency compared to its 21700 predecessor. In January, Tesla revealed a $3.6bn investment plan to expand its Nevada Gigafactory, with the goal of producing 100GWh of 4680 batteries annually. Other automotive titans such as General Motors, BMW, and Rimac are also incorporating 46-series batteries into their plans. By 2025, these batteries are projected to constitute roughly 12.2% of the total power battery capacity.
Companies that succeed in reducing costs and advancing technology for 46-series batteries are well-positioned to reap substantial benefits. Competition among domestic lithium battery corporations in production capacity and technology is already underway. Industry leaders, including Ningde Times and Yiwei Lithium Energy, are outlining strategies to expand production in the coming years.
Progress in equipment and technology for mass production is also evident, with leading firms developing core apparatus for battery production and commencing shipments of 4680-related equipment. In the assembly sector, automated assembly lines for 46-series batteries have successfully completed pilot tests.
Material innovation is advancing, with Kodali manufacturing 4680 battery structural components and Shanshan Co. developing silicon-based negative electrodes. As domestic battery enterprises scale up 46-series battery production, cost reduction and competitive advantages in the international market are anticipated.