Panasonic is to supply enough cells for 80,000 Tesla Model S electric cars over the next four years, including meeting Tesla’s need for 6,000 preorders in 2012. "This supply agreement helps ensure Tesla will meet its costs and margin targets for Model S," said a statement from Panasonic and Tesla.
Panasonic has supplied Tesla with battery cells since 2009, when Tesla produced only the Roadster, which has a price tag ranging from $109,000 to more than $140,000. The Model S sedan base model will be priced at $57,400, before a $7,500 federal tax credit and other incentives.
About two weeks ago, Tesla showed off a production prototype of the Model S to customers who reserved the vehicle in advance.
In 2010, Panasonic invested $30 million in Tesla to "deepen the partnership and foster the growth of the electric vehicle industry," the joint statement said. Also in 2010, Toyota said it would take a $50 million stake in Tesla.
Tesla co-founder and Chief Executive Elon Musk said Panasonic’s participation was an "endorsement of our technology." Tesla supplies powertrains and batteries to Toyota Motor Corp and to Daimler AG. Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of electronic products for a wide range of consumer, business, and industrial needs. Based in Osaka, Japan, the company recorded consolidated net sales of 8.69 trillion yen (US$105 billion) for the year ended March 31, 2011. The company’s shares are listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and New York (NYSE: PC) stock exchanges.
Tesla’s goal is to accelerate the world’s transition to electric mobility with a full range of increasingly affordable electric cars. Palo Alto, California-based Tesla designs and manufactures EVs and EV powertrain components. Tesla has delivered more than 1,840 Roadsters, the world’s first electric sports car, to customers world-wide. Model S, the first premium sedan to be built from the ground up as an electric vehicle, goes on the market in mid-2012 in North America, and in Europe and Asia in late 2012.
By José Santamarta, www.teslamotors.com