Twice.com reports that Panasonic has just invested $30 million in Tesla Motors. This investment builds on a multi-year collaboration of the two companies to accelerate the expansion of the electric vehicle.
The investment was made through the purchase of Tesla common stock in a private placement at a price of $21.15 per share.
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Panasonic is a major battery cell manufacturer, which the company also supplies to the automotive industry. In fact, Tesla currently uses Panasonic battery cells in its advanced battery packs. The two companies have collaborated on the development of next-generation battery cells that would be specifically designed for electric vehicles.
Currently Tesla's battery strategy uses proprietary packaging with cells from different cell suppliers. Tesla has officially selected Panasonic as its preferred lithium-ion battery cell supplier.
"Panasonic aims to be the Number One Green Innovation Company in the Electronics Industry by 2018, the 100th anniversary of our founding," said Naoto Noguchi, president of energy company, a unit of Panasonic responsible for battery cell matters.
In addition to producing its own vehicles, Tesla also builds electric powertrains, which includes battery packs, for other automobile manufactures. Panasonic and Tesla intend to explore joint marketing and sales of battery packs that would be designed and assembled by Tesla using Panasonic's battery cells.