Technology.am (Jan 07, 2010) — It seems that when Panasonic President Fumio Ohtsubo said in December that his company would devote $1 billion in green technologies for the home, he might already have had an agreement in the works for the garage.
Panasonic will be teaming up with Tesla Motors to expand next-generation nickel-based lithium ion battery cells for electric vehicles, together companies announced Thursday.
“Combining Tesla’s meticulous cell testing and understanding of EV requirements with Panasonic’s cutting-edge battery technology will result in custom cells optimized for use in EVs,” JB Straubel, Tesla’s chief technology officer, said in a statement.
The agreement should not be much of a revelation to those who tag along these two companies. While Panasonic is perhaps most famous for its TVs, the company is too a leading manufacturer of battery cells for electronics.
As for Tesla, it’s long maintained that it would like to provide its battery packs to other automakers, and last January made a contract to offer Daimler with batteries for its Electric Smart EV.
Panasonic too announced Thursday that it’s halfway through a 3-year project to renovate its lithium-ion battery cell research and production facilities companywide, including a totally fresh plant planned to open in Suminoe, Japan, in April. The company said the complete overhaul represents about a $1 billion investment.
While Panasonic seems proud of its fresh turn into green tech, Tesla seems eager to guarantee existing partners they still have a place as the company expands. Tesla particularly announced that it will carry on to source cells for its battery packs from several suppliers, and that the latest Panasonic cell will be compatible with other cells and components.