The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.

Panasonic Hesitant to Commit to Tesla Battery Factory

Panasonic Hesitant to Commit to Tesla Battery Factory

Panasonic Corp., Tesla Motors Inc.’s primary supplier of lithium-ion cells for its electric Model S sedans, hasn’t committed to investing in the massive U.S. battery plant proposed by Tesla’s Elon Musk.

Joining Tesla’s “Gigafactory” battery project would raise investment risks, Panasonic President Kazuhiro Tsuga, told reporters today at a briefing in Tokyo. Tesla, which announced plans for the facility in February, said it’s reviewing potential sites in four southwestern U.S. states. The plant may require as much as $5 billion to build and employ about 6,500 people by 2020, the Palo Alto, California-based company said.

Musk, who is also Tesla’s co-founder and biggest investor, has said Panasonic may be involved in the factory. However, the Osaka, Japan-based company’s participation is “not 100 percent confirmed,” he told Bloomberg Television last month.

“Having Panasonic as a joint venture partner would facilitate strategic access to Panasonic’s supply chain, and reduce risks,” Craig Irwin, a New York-based analyst for Wedbush Securities Inc., wrote in a note today.

Irwin, who has an outperform rating on the stock, trimmed his target price for Tesla’s shares to $275 from $295.

Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada, the four states Tesla identified as possible factory locations, have started lobbying efforts to win the plant. Tesla has raised about $2 billion in a convertible bond sale to help fund the plant and for product development.

Critical Batteries

Musk, 42, has said the plant is critical to helping Tesla drive down battery costs and to expand lithium-ion cell supplies to allow the carmaker to sell hundreds of thousands of electric vehicles annually. Tesla also wants to make batteries for home storage of electricity generated by solar panels, allowing customers to reduce use of power from utilities.

Tesla relies on Panasonic for the battery materials, said Menahem Anderman, president of Total Battery Consulting Inc., in Oregon House, California. If Panasonic isn’t involved, that will make the factory much more of a challenge, he said.

Copyright 2014 Bloomberg

Lead image: Caution tape via Shutterstock


Battery Second Use Offsets Electric Vehicle Expenses, Improves Grid Stability

Anya Breitenbach, NREL Plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) have the potential to dramatically drive down consumption of carbon-based fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but the relatively high price of these vehicles — due in large part to t...
Electric vehicles

Innovating Today for the Homes of Tomorrow

David Glickson, NREL Shaping our energy future into one that is efficient, reliable, affordable, and sustainable is a significant undertaking. Much of this effort is focused around the energy industry, utilities, and power grids—which can seem...
Vatican City

Where Coal Was King, Pope's Climate Warning Faces a Tricky Sell

Alex Nussbaum and Tim Loh, Bloomberg

In West Virginia, where workers have harvested coal seams for centuries, Pope Francis’ new warning about the risks of fossil fuels will find skepticism even among the faithful.

Clean planet

Renewable Energy Responsible for First Ever Carbon Emissions Stabilization

Vince Font, Contributing Editor Carbon emissions in 2014 remained at the previous year’s levels of 32.3 billion metric tons — a milestone that points to the impact worldwide renewable energy investment is having in the face of a 1.5 percent annual increa...


Volume 18, Issue 3


To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:



Outage Management for Power Plants

Building on this series’ success, the 14th Annual Outage Managemen...

SAP for Utilities

The SAP for Utilities conference is the most comprehensive SAP for Utili...

Training: Preparing for Rule 21 - SPI 2015

What: Rule 21 Training When: September 16th @ 4:30-5:30pm Wher...


Don't Fear The C-Suite

A lot of people are uncomfortable selling to the C-Suite (Chief Financia...

Solar Power Helps Detroit Community Light Streets

Residents of Highland Park, a city almost surrounded by Detroit, receive...

How to Survive the Solar ITC’s Expiration

The Solar ITC is set to expire at midnight on December 31, 2016. That se...


Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon


Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now