“People like to envision a cell as kind of a commodity product,” Mikolajczak said. But a lithium ion cell is not a commodity product, she told Automotive News.
“Every design has its own challenges. It has its own strengths. It has its own demerits. I make a cell that’s optimized for one customer, a different customer wants a different optimization,” she said.
The product in question, known as Panasonic’s 2170 cell, supplies power to the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y batteries that are made at the Gigafactory in Reno, Nev., in which Panasonic and Tesla are partners.
Advancing the cell required a shift in design, which Mikolajczak said is more difficult to manufacture.
“Every time you do something new on the chemistry side, there’s always implications on the processing side,” she said.