Panasonic Buys a 2% Stake in Tesla Motors for $30M

panasonic tesla motors logos

Images: Panasonic and Tesla Motors logos

The Two of Us Will Go Far (at Least 244 Miles Per Charge)

Panasonic, which suppliers lithium-ion cells to electric car maker Tesla Motors, has decided to make the business relationship a bit more serious. The Japanese giant has bought about 2% of the Californian startup's shares in a private placement ($30 million, $21.15 per share). Panasonic and Tesla plan to jointly market and sell Tesla battery packs using Panasonic's battery cells.


Photo: Brian Merchant

Tesla has been using battery cells from more than one manufacturer so far, but it has selected Panasonic as a "preferred lithium-ion battery cell supplier for its battery packs."

Panasonic's support will no doubt be welcome by Tesla. The company has to avoid running out of money at least until its second model, the Model S electric sedan, comes out. There are always unexpected problems in massive industrial projects, so if that car is delayed, support from partners with deep pockets and solid reputations could make the difference. It can also benefit from the R&D; muscle of Panasonic to help make its EVs better; Panasonic will probably also sell its batteries to other auto makers, but if the relationship with Tesla becomes close enough, it might get some exclusivity or at least be first in line when new products come out.


Check out our test-drive of the Tesla Roadster.

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