Tesla and Panasonic are reportedly freezing their plans to expand the capacity of Gigafactory 1 in Nevada, according to Nikkei Asian Review.
It is reported that the companies intended on raising capacity at the world’s largest electric vehicle battery plant by up to 50 per cent in 2020, but current sales of electric vehicles are below expectations and it is thought that investing in a Gigafactory expansion will prove to be too much of a risk.
Last August, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that the electric car manufacturer could build up to 1 million vehicles in 2020. He soon, however, amended that statement, something that falls in line with the revised Gigafactory plans.
Lower-than-expected EV sales may also impact Tesla’s production goals at its forthcoming factory in Shanghai, China. According to the Nikkei Asian Review, Panasonic will suspend its planned investment in the Shanghai Gigafactory, and instead only provide technical support and a small number of batteries built at Nevada’s Gigafactory 1.
Tesla and Panasonic have invested $4.5 billion into the Nevada plant since construction of the facility first commenced. The site has been making batteries for the entry-level Model 3 since January 2017, with Panasonic handling the manufacturing of the cells and Tesla combining them into battery packs and placing them in the vehicles it builds in California. The site has a production capacity of 35 gigawatt-hours a year, but this was to be increased to 54 gigawatt-hours a year by 2020 – something that, obviously, won’t happen.