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This Tesla video manages to make battery production look cool

Making batteries

Beyond the desire to know how many miles you’ll get out of it, the battery is probably one of the least interesting parts of the package for most folks splashing out on a new electric car.

The look, the handling, the comfort, and the little extras are going to take center stage, leaving the humble battery to get on with its job — its very important job — of powering you from A to B.

Well, Tesla has just put this unsung hero very much in the spotlight, making it the star of a rather cool video (top) filmed inside one of its battery cell production plants.

Artfully shot and edited, the sub-60-second sequence highlights an incredibly precise and efficient process reminiscent of the fascinating Model 3 factory video posted by Tesla a couple of years ago.

After watching Tesla’s battery video — posted as part of an effort to encourage people to apply for jobs at its upcoming Giga Texas and Giga Berlin facilities — Model 3 owner Owen Sparks tweeted how the production process appears to have been inspired by techniques used in the bottling industry.

His post caught the eye of Tesla boss Elon Musk, who replied, “The best manufacturing technology is in ultra high volume industries, like food & beverage, some medical (eg syringes) & toys.”

The best manufacturing technology is in ultra high volume industries, like food & beverage, some medical (eg syringes) & toys

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 18, 2021

Another of Musk’s 42 million Twitter followers responded: “Makes sense that @tesla is taking example on toymakers, to be honest, considering how much fun Teslas are,” to which Musk replied that his team is “literally trying to make full-size cars in the same way that toy cars are made.”

With our giant casting machines, we are literally trying to make full-size cars in the same way that toy cars are made

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 18, 2021

As for those batteries, Tesla, like other automakers, currently sources the component from other firms so it can throw all of its efforts into the manufacturing process. The 2170 cells for the Model 3 and Model Y, for example, are made by Panasonic at Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada.

Musk announced at a special event in September last year that Tesla is planning to produce in-house a new, way more efficient 4680 cell that’s expected to reduce costs significantly in a development that could dramatically transform the EV market. Yes, this is indeed an exciting time for electric cars. And batteries, too.

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Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
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