Panasonic and Tesla to build automotive battery plant in US

Panasonic and Tesla to build automotive battery plant in US

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California-based electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Motors and electronics manufacturer Panasonic are teaming up in order to build a battery plant in the United States. The two companies will have to shell out $1 billion for the brand new automotive battery plant.

Panasonic Corp's Amagasaki plasma display plant No.4 building is seen in Amagasaki, western Japan

Besides Tesla, Panasonic is attempting to rope in several other Japan-based material manufacturers to join the project. As the number of manufacturers joining in increases, manufacturing cost will be reduced. It has been reported that costs of the lithium-ion batteries – which are used in electric cars – will be decreased. For an electric car, batteries are the costliest part and slashing these prices is crucial in order to make the technology more approachable to consumers.

The new plant will handle everything, from processing raw materials to assembly. The plant is expected to become functional in 2017 and will produce lightweight batteries for Tesla, while it might even manufacture batteries for Toyota Motors and other auto makers. The electronics manufacturing giant has been working with Tesla on developing the next generation auto batteries.

In 2013, Panasonic extended the contract to supply lithium-ion units to the company to about 2 billion units by 2017. Panasonic said that it is trying in every possible way to strengthen its relationship with Tesla. However, analysts have expressed concerns over the project, saying that the development is just in the talking stage.

Photo Credits: Reuters Media