Tesla, Panasonic Reach ‘Gigafactory’ Deal

August 1, 2014 By Karen Henry

tesla-model-s-energy-manageTesla Motors and Panasonic have reached a deal for Panasonic to invest in Tesla’s “gigafactory,” according to reports citing Japan’s Nikkei. Panasonic would invest about $200 million to $300 million in the factory. An official announcement is expected by the end of the month.

Shares of the electric car maker rose 2.5 percent on the news. Panasonic had signed a letter of intent to join the battery factory in May, but doubts had swirled as the Japanese electronics maker is in the midst of a restructuring. Panasonic is the main supplier of battery cells for Tesla.

According to Bloomberg, the gigafactory will also build stationary batteries to store energy for buildings from solar panels.

“Not only does the gigafactory enable capacity needed for the Model 3 but it sets the path for a dramatic reduction in the cost of energy storage across a broad range of applications,” JB Straubel, Tesla co-founder and chief technical officer, said in the statement.

Tesla said it is evaluating sites in Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas to place its massive battery factory, which could cost as much as $5 billion. The electric car maker would break ground on the gigafactory later this year, and the factory is expected to reach full capacity by 2020, providing battery packs to about 500,000 cars a year.

Photo via Shutterstock.

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