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Tesla Delays “Unexpected” News, but Announces Solar Cell Deal with Panasonic

“Needs a few more days of refinement,” tweets CEO Musk.

by on Oct.17, 2016

Panasonic claims to make the world's most efficient rooftop solar cells.

Those who were hoping for a big announcement from Tesla Motors are going to have to wait a couple more days, according to CEO Elon Musk, though the Silicon Valley-based electric car company did have some significant news to report on Monday.

Tesla says it will expand its alliance with Japanese electronics giant Panasonic to start producing solar cells. That could be a major development for SolarCity, the solar panel company Tesla recently said it will acquire. Panasonic already produces batteries for Tesla’s electric vehicles and is a major partner in the massive Gigafactory battery plant being erected in Reno, Nevada.

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Tesla’s Musk had hinted earlier this month that the company would make an “unexpected” product announcement on October 17th, but in an overnight tweet, the South African-born entrepreneur said the project “needs a few more days of refinement,” and won’t be revealed until Wednesday.

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Musk Flings Open Doors of Tesla’s Gigafactory

Musk believes Model 3s coming in 2018.

by on Jul.27, 2016

Tesla's Elon Musk said recently that if the automaker reaches its production goal of 500,000 units, it would absorb all of the world's current lithium production. Credit: Tesla

Tesla flung open the doors of its still-in-progress Gigafactory to show the world what kind of progress it’s making on what will likely be the birthplace of every battery stuffed into every Tesla EV sold for years to come.

The company’s founder and CEO, Elon Musk, took the media on a tour of the plant, which is only 14% complete, and announced the facility would begin producing batteries at the end of this year. The first automotive power sources weren’t due to roll off the line, so to speak, until sometime in 2017. Tesla shareholders and owners will get a private tour later this week.

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The plant is already producing Tesla’s Powerwall and Powerpack energy storage units, using cells from Panasonic Corp. The Japanese company is a partner, investing $1.6 billion into the site, which is expected to cost $5 billion once it’s completed in 2020. (more…)

Panasonic Aims to Help Tesla Launch Gigafactory

Japanese tech giant sending “100s” of workers to Nevada.

by on Jun.09, 2015

A rendering of the Tesla Gigafactory.

Tesla Motors will get a big helping hand from its Japanese tech partner Tesla in a push to get the planned Gigafactory battery plant into production next year.

Panasonic plans to send “hundreds” of its own employees to the Reno, Nevada plant site in an effort to help Tesla get it completed. The $5 billion Gigafactory is expected to become the world’s largest producer of lithium-ion batteries once it gets up to full speed, those batteries used not only for Tesla’s electric vehicles but also for backup energy systems and other applications.

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“We’ll need hundreds of people at the start,” Yoshio Ito, Panasonic’s automotive and industrial systems division chief said in Japan. “We should actually see that starting around the autumn.”

Panasonic, which has been supplying batteries for the Tesla Model S, is a major partner in the Gigafactory, with its own investment expected to approach $500 million.

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Tesla Megafactory Deal Could Slash Costs for Batteries

EV maker reportedly planning $1 bil US factory with Japan’s Panasonic.

by on Feb.26, 2014

Lower cost, higher-power batteries could make vehicles like the Tesla Model S a lot more competitive.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is expected to announce plans for a new “gigafactory” later this week, and reports out of Japan indicate the project will involve a $1 billion joint venture with electronic giant Panasonic to set up a lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant in the United States.

The two partners are expected to seek the involvement – and investment – of additional partners, according to Japan’s Nikkei. Among the key goals of the program will be a sharp reduction in the cost of the advanced batteries needed to power vehicles like the Tesla Model S.

News to Charge You Up!

The reports have generated some skepticism, and neither Panasonic nor Tesla are directly discussing the reports – or the megafactory announcement the California-based automaker is expected to make on Thursday. Contacted by the AFP news service, a Panasonic official would only say the company is “studying every possible way to strengthen ties with Tesla.”

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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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Tesla – Panasonic Deal Resonates With Market

Japanese electronics giant latest investor in EV start-up.

by on Nov.05, 2010

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk inks an alliance with Panasonic, now its 3rd-largest investor.

The California battery-car start-up, Tesla Motors, is hoping a new deal with the electronics giant, Panasonic, will help quell lingering concerns about its long-term viability.

The market seems to agree, Tesla shares jumping 14% after word of the deal, which makes the Japanese company, a major battery supplier, its third-largest shareholder. Tesla stock opens Friday at$24.90, the highest level since the company first went public last June.

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Panasonic’s purchase of 1.42 million shares follows the move, earlier this year, by Toyota to invest $50 million in the California-based battery car maker.  Panasonic is a key partner in Toyota’s own battery car program.

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