TESLA has confirmed that it will miss a production milestone for its new Model 3 saloon.
Earlier this year, the American electric vehicle manufacturer said it would step up production to 5,000 vehicles a week by the end of 2017.
However, it has now announced that that will not be achieved until the first three months of 2018.
Reuters reports that the cause of the ‘bottleneck’ has been confirmed to be at the company’s Gigafactory battery plant in the Nevada desert.
Kazukiro Tsuga, chief executive of Panasonic, the electronics company that is producing battery cells for Tesla, told the news agency: “This process [for battery packs] will be soon automated, and then the number of vehicles to be produced will rise sharply.
In a statement, Tesla said: “The initial phase of manufacturing any new vehicle is always challenging and the Model 3 production ramp is no exception.
“We continue to make progress resolving early bottlenecks, [but] the nature of manufacturing challenges during a ramp such as this makes it difficult to predict exactly how long it will take for all bottlenecks to be cleared or when new ones will appear.”
For Tesla to build 5,000 vehicles per week, Panasonic will have to increase battery cell production to an annual rate of 15 GWh, giving it the biggest output of any battery factory in the world.