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Published on May 26th, 2014 | by Zachary Shahan

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Panasonic Expects To Be Tesla’s Sole Battery Manufacturer At Gigafactory

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May 26th, 2014 by Zachary Shahan 

panasonic-logo

Thanks to @TeslaMS60 for sharing an interesting story regarding Tesla Motors’ coming gigafactory. Panasonic Corp, according to Reuters, expects that it will be Tesla’s sole battery manufacturer at the multibillion-dollar gigafactory Tesla is building in the US Southwest. Panasonic has long been Tesla’s key battery partner, but it was questionable whether Panasonic would continue to have this exclusive relationship and how much it would be involved in the gigafactory (or gigafactories). Looks like Panasonic expects it will continue to be a big beneficiary in Tesla’s growth.

Nonetheless, don’t expect in big moves on the part of Panasonic this year. “Panasonic does not have a timeframe for a decision on its investment but any expenditure this year would be small, Yoshio Ito, senior managing executive officer and president of the Japanese firm’s automotive and industrial division said on Friday.”

“As we’re not anticipating any sudden tenfold increases in demand or anything like that, we think it is right to break it up step-by-step and invest gradually,” Ito told reporters. However, Panasonic is planning to spend approximately 28 billion yen ($275 million) on battery production this year, about twice what was in its budget last year, primarily because of growing demand from Tesla, which has been increasing its manufacturing capacity.

Tesla and Panasonic are reportedly in talks about the construction plans (naturally), and Panasonic isn’t concerned about any competing battery makers getting a foot in.

Panasonic signed a $7 billion deal with Tesla late last year that would see Tesla buy “2 billion individual laptop batteries from Panasonic” (Tesla uses about 7,000 of those in a battery pack). That just followed rumors that Tesla might start getting some of its batteries from Samsung. Apparently, the Samsung rumors didn’t have anything behind them or the talks fell through.

Panasonic surged to 39% of the plug-in vehicle battery market. Nonetheless, Panasonic has been unsure about investing in a high-risk gigafactory, according to reports. The Tesla gigafactory has been the talk of the town this year because of its large size and potential for helping to disrupt multiple large markets, but Elon Musk recently noted that we would actually need about 200 gigafactories for plug-in car batteries alone. Hard to comprehend, but also hard to comprehend that EV revolution not happening.

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About the Author

spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as the director/chief editor. Otherwise, he's probably enthusiastically fulfilling his duties as the director/editor of Solar Love, EV Obsession, Planetsave, or Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and wind energy expert. If you would like him to speak at a related conference or event, connect with him via social media. You can connect with Zach on any popular social networking site you like. Links to all of his main social media profiles are on ZacharyShahan.com.



  • Charming Susan.

    I am not sure because http://bit.ly/1jT1GGy

  • jimbob

    One way they will get costs down is using natural over synthetic graphite. The Albany Deposit in Ontario Canada is a hydrothermal vein of graphite with very few deletrious elements and properities mimic synthetic. No other deposit like this in the world…not even in Sri Lanka. Zenyatta has sent samples and signed Non-Disclosure Agreements (due to proprietary graphite structure required by companies requesting samples) to many global companies. I think Panasonic, or their supplier of graphite would’ve been one. Tesla wants to source clean, environmentally friendly materials from North America. They’ve been in talks with mining companies for raw materials already…Zenyatta has to be on their radar…if so, they will achieve the 30 % cost reduction and actually source a cleaner product than sythentic.

  • solar

    This article does not post any new facts

    • Sam

      “As we’re not anticipating any sudden tenfold increases in demand or anything like that, we think it is right to break it up step-by-step and invest gradually,” Ito said.

      Read that as “we ARE anticipating 10-fold increases in demand, after a gradual investment.”

  • Maria Marry

    No no I am not agree with that because http://bit.ly/1tFDwSM

  • EV docmaker

    TOYOTA is manipulating PANASONIC to hold back.

  • Matt

    Looks like Panasonic is still playing wait and see. If someone else steps up with $2b, the title of “Tesla’s sole battery manufacturer” could change fast. Maybe they are not quite ready for a 30% drop in battery prices. Not sure why if you are the one with the lowest cost, you normally get biggest piece of market. But then all their existing plants :(

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