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Tesla could make its own batteries, targets new production center in California

Documents from the city of Fremont show the electric carmaker is ready to expand its small battery production operation.

Tesla Fremont factory
Batteries from Tesla could really expand its business.

Judging by new documents, we could one day see Tesla produce its own batteries, rather than rely on partners such as Panasonic for its electric cars.

Reuters first reported Wednesday on documents Tesla filed with the city of Fremont, California that lay out plans for an expanded battery manufacturing unit and a battery research center. According to the publication, the facility would house 470 workers with about 100 of them working various shifts to keep the operation online 24 hours a day.

Tesla has operated a small battery production unit, according to the documents, but the plans for an expansion hint at bigger things to come from the automaker. Batteries remain the most expensive component of an EV and in-house production could be a major step toward reducing costs. Not to mention, Tesla could also sell them to other companies.

Right now, all of Tesla's cars feature batteries built at the company's Nevada-based Gigafactory through a partnership with Panasonic. LG Chem and CATL also supply batteries for Teslas in other parts of the world.

The news adds fuel to rumors Tesla has something big brewing for its postponed Battery Day event, now tentatively scheduled for Sept. 15. We've heard about the possibility of cobalt-free batteries and the so-called "million-mile" battery that could prove useful in a vehicle like the Tesla Semi.

The automaker did not immediately return Roadshow's request for comment.

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