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New Battery Deal Could Boost Tesla Production

Fires, stock slump seem to be having little impact on demand.

by on Oct.30, 2013

Despite some recent snags, there are no signs the Model S is losing sales momentum.

It’s been a rough month for high-flying Tesla Motors, but despite a pair of fires and several downgrades by industry analysts, the California electric vehicle maker remains upbeat enough to ink a deal that will substantially boost the number of batteries it buys from Japan’s Panasonic Corp.

That, in turn, suggests that Tesla is expecting to sell significantly more of its vehicles than it originally expected. It has already delayed the launch of a second vehicle, the Model X SUV, to catch up on demand for its initial offering, the Model S sedan.

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“This expanded agreement with Panasonic is important to Tesla as we continue to increase the pace of production,” the maker’s co-founder and CEO Elon Musk said in a statement. “We look forward to strengthening our relationship with Panasonic, and I’m confident that this partnership will continue to be an integral part of Tesla’s success for years to come.”

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