Panasonic and Tesla have had a partnership agreement since Panasonic agreed to a supply agreement with the electric vehicle automaker in 2009. In 2010, Panasonic invested $30 million in Tesla. Now, the electronics giant and the California-based auto maker have finalized a supply agreement in which Panasonic will supply its automotive-grade lithium-ion battery cells to Tesla to be used in its premium electric sedan, the Model S.
This agreement is fantastic news for Tesla. The pact supplies Tesla with Panasonic’s lithium-ion battery cells to build more than 80,000 vehicles over the next four years. It will hopefully also guarantee the availability of enough cells in 2012 to meet Tesla’s aggressive production ramp-up and fulfillment of more than 6,000 existing Model S reservations.
“It is a powerful endorsement of our technology that Panasonic, the world’s leading battery cell manufacturer, has chosen to partner with Tesla to advance electric vehicle performance and value,” said Tesla Co-Founder and CEO Elon Musk. “Incorporating Panasonic’s next-generation cells into Model S batteries will ensure unrivaled range and performance. We are very grateful for our great partnership with Panasonic.”
The Model S sedan base model will be priced at $57,400, before a $7,500 federal tax credit and other incentives. In addition to the Model S, Tesla also sells the two-seat Roadster, which retails for $109,000. Aside from its auto manufacturing, Tesla also supplies powertrains and batteries to Toyota Motor Corp and to Daimler AG.