(Reuters) -Japan’s Panasonic Holdings Corp will expand the production of electric vehicle batteries at a factory in Nevada jointly operated with Tesla Inc, the Nikkei reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.
The company’s unit, Panasonic Energy, will install a 15th production line at Gigafactory Nevada, the report said.
The report comes after Panasonic said last month it plans to build at least two new factories for the production of Tesla 4680 battery cells in North America by 2030. With that move, it seeks to boost its auto battery capacity to 200 gigawatt hours per year by March 2031, about four times its level at the end of this March.
At the time, Panasonic had not disclosed where in North America it would add the production capacity.
Annual production capacity at the facility is estimated to increase about 10% from the current 38 gigawatt-hours to 39 GWh – enough for 500,000 to 700,000 Tesla Model 3s, according to the report.
Tesla did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment, while Panasonic was not available for comment outside of their working hours.
Tesla recently told Panasonic it would “buy as much as [Panasonic] can make”, according to an executive at the Japanese manufacturer, the report added.
Panasonic is running a pilot 4680 production line at its Wakayama factory in Japan, while Tesla is already producing the 4680 battery cells, which Musk has touted as being key to making cheaper and compelling electric cars.
(Reporting by Samrhitha Arunasalam in Bengaluru; Editing by Pooja Desai)