PALO ALTO, CA - Panasonic Corp. has invested $30 million in electric car maker Tesla Motors. The investment builds upon a multi-year collaboration to accelerate the market expansion of the electric vehicle.
The investment was made through the purchase of Tesla common stock in a private placement at a price of $21.15 per share, the companies said. Panasonic is a leading battery cell manufacturer and supplier to the global automotive industry. Tesla currently uses Panasonic battery cells in its advanced battery packs and has collaborated with Panasonic on the development of next-generation battery cells designed specifically for electric vehicles. While Tesla's current battery strategy incorporates proprietary packaging using cells from multiple battery suppliers, Tesla has selected Panasonic as its preferred lithium-ion battery cell supplier for its battery packs.
"Panasonic aims to be the No. 1 green innovation company in the electronics industry by 2018, the 100th anniversary of our founding," said Naoto Noguchi, president of Energy Co., a unit of Panasonic responsible for the battery cell business. "Our sophisticated lithium-ion battery cell technology, combined with Tesla's market-leading EV powertrain technology, helps us fulfill this goal by promoting sustainable mobility."
"It is an honor and a powerful endorsement of our technology that Panasonic, the world's leading battery cell manufacturer, would choose to invest in and partner with Tesla," added Tesla CEO and cofounder Elon Musk.
In addition to producing its own vehicles, Tesla also builds electric powertrains, including battery packs, for other automobile manufacturers. Panasonic and Tesla intend to explore joint marketing and sales of battery packs that would be designed and assembled by Tesla using Panasonic's battery cells.