Panasonic announces launch of lithium-ion battery unit at Tesla Gigafactory

Panasonic Corporation has said it will establish a new manufacturing company of lithium-ion batteries at the soon to be built Tesla Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada.

The group will build the new company, Panasonic Energy Corporation of North America, on 555,000 square meters at Tesla Motor’s planned Gigafactory, a large-scale battery manufacturing plant that has been discussed between Tesla and Panasonic to produce cheaper and more efficient battery packs for Tesla vehicles. The new Panasonic unit will produce and sell lithium-ion batteries.

Panasonic, which will fund part of the cost of the Gigafactory, said the new factory would enable a continuous reduction in the cost of long range battery packs in parallel with manufacturing at the volumes required to enable Tesla to meet its goal of advancing mass market electric vehicles. "Through this cooperation, Panasonic will contribute to accelerate the expansion of the electric vehicle market," the company added.

Panasonic CEO Kazuhiro Tsuga was quoted by Reuters on Tuesday as saying the corporation¬ís initial investment in Tesla’s Gigafactory would amount to "tens of billions" of yen.

Panasonic and Tesla have been working together in various collaborative endeavors related to electric vehicles since 2007. The companies signed the agreement to build the Gigafactory in July.