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Panasonic, Japanese suppliers plan to invest in Tesla US car battery plant

ABR Staff Writer Published 26 February 2014

Panasonic, along with some Japanese materials suppliers, is reportedly planning to invest around JPY100bn ($977m) in a lithium-ion car battery manufacturing plant to be established by electric carmaker Tesla Motors in the US.

Tesla

Construction of the plant is expected to begin in 2017, which will strengthen the supply of lithium-ion batteries by Panasonic to Tesla.

Earlier, Tesla announced that it plans to establish a lithium-ion battery plant, dubbed as giga factory, to reduce battery costs, Nikkei Asian Review reported.

According to the company, the plant will also enable it to introduce affordable electric cars in 2017.

The battery making plant will feature lines from processing raw materials to assembly and is expected to manufacture small, lightweight batteries for Tesla.

Apart from Tesla, these batteries will also be supplied to Japanese carmaker Toyota and other automakers.

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk told Reuters that the company expects to build the factory with more than one partner, including Panasonic.

"The factory is really there to support the volume of the third generation car," Musk added.

"We want to have the vehicle engineering and tooling come to fruition the same time as the giga factory. It is already part of one strategy, one combined effort."


Image: Tesla Motors partners with Panasonic for car battery plant. Photo: Courtesy of Tesla Motors, Inc.