Osaka, Japan – Panasonic has invested US$30 million in electric car manufacturer Tesla, building on a multi-year collaboration of the two companies to accelerate market expansion of the vehicle. The investment was made through the purchase of Tesla common stock.
Tesla currently uses Panasonic cells in its battery packs and has collaborated with the company on the development of next-generation cells designed specifically for electric vehicles. While Tesla’s current strategy incorporates proprietary packaging using cells from multiple battery suppliers, Tesla has selected Panasonic as its preferred supplier for lithium-ion battery cells.
“Panasonic aims to be the number one ‘green’ innovation company in the electronics industry by 2018, the one hundred anniversary of our founding,” said Naoto Noguchi, president of Energy Company, the Panasonic unit responsible for battery cell business. “Our sophisticated lithium-ion battery cell technology, combined with Tesla’s market-leading electric vehicle powertrain technology, helps us fulfill this goal by promoting sustainable mobility. We are proud to strengthen our relationship with Tesla Motors.”
In addition to producing its own vehicles, Tesla also builds electric powertrains and battery packs for other automobile manufacturers. Panasonic and Tesla intend to explore joint marketing and sales of battery packs designed and assembled by Tesla using Panasonic’s battery cells.