21700 lithium-ion cells, used in Tesla’s Model 3 electric vehicle, have been put into production in China by two of the country’s largest Li-ion battery makers.
Tianjin Lishen Battery Joint-Stock Co Ltd is investing ¥2.1 billion ($312.6 million) in the project and aims to achieve production capacity of 4GWh. EVE Energy Co Ltd, which is investing ¥2 billion ($297.7M), says its production line has the highest level of automation in the country and expects to reach its capacity of 3.5GWh later this year.
Tianjin’s new plant in Suzhou Province will be selling the battery cells to both domestic and foreign carmakers.
EVE Energy started producing 21700 battery cells in Jinquan, Hubei Province, in June.
Another Li-ion cell supplier going down the 21700 route is Far East Smarter Energy Co Ltd. According to Energy Storage China Net, the new plant will feature six lines with a total capacity of 7GWh a year.
The focus on 21700 battery cells coincides with the first delivery of Tesla’s Model 3, which features the upsized, down-priced Panasonic cells. However, China’s news agency Xinhua has reported concerns that Chinese manufacturers are “blindly following” the 21700 trend.