Tesla Gigafactory May Get $1B From Panasonic

A new report suggests Panasonic might invest almost $1 billion in Tesla’s upcoming battery manufacturing facility.

Last week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk hinted at plans for its “Gigafactory” that would include partnerships with Panasonic and other suppliers. Panasonic currently serves as a major battery supplier to Tesla. A report from Reuters citing unnamed sources indicates that the company may invest as much as 100 billion yen (roughly $979 million) in the plant, which is expected to come online in 2017.

The facility is part of the company’s plan to offer a more affordable electric car and could dramatically reduce Tesla’s battery costs by handling material, cell, module and pack production to a single location.

Panasonic’s current supply contract with Tesla ends in 2017 and the company confirmed that it is “looking at various ways of strengthening that relationship in the future.”

Musk said in an earnings conference call last week that the company expects to partner with more than one company to build the factory, but that Panasonic’s participation was a “default assumption.”

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[Source: Automotive News]