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Tesla Motors today announced it has secured a deal to get lithium-ion cells from Japan's Panasonic for its upcoming Model S sedan, a move Tesla says will allow it to keep its sedan priced as promised.

Terms of the deal call for Panasonic to supply Tesla with enough li-ion cells for 80,000 Model S sedans over the next four years. The electric automaker says the Model S will use a line of battery cells jointly developed by Panasonic and Tesla. This latest collaboration comes out of an initial Model S deal between the two firms signed back in 2009. Tesla chief executive officer Elon Musk said in a statement that the Panasonic cells, "will ensure unrivaled range and performance."

The Model S is expected to hit U.S. streets in 2012, and Tesla says over 6,000 hand-raisers are eagerly awaiting its arrival. Click here for our First Ride in the 2012 Tesla Model S Beta.
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Panasonic Enters Into Supply Agreement With Tesla Motors to Supply Automotive-Grade Battery Cells

PALO ALTO, CA--(Marketwire - Oct 11, 2011) - Panasonic Corporation and Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA) finalized a supply agreement for automotive-grade lithium-ion battery cells. Panasonic is the world's leading battery cell manufacturer and a diverse supplier to the global automotive industry. Panasonic's automotive grade lithium-ion battery cells will be used in Tesla's premium electric sedan, Model S.

The agreement supplies Tesla with Panasonic's lithium-ion battery cells to build more than 80,000 vehicles over the next four years. It guarantees 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. This supply agreement helps ensure Tesla will meet its cost and margin targets for Model S.

This agreement builds upon a multi-year collaboration between Panasonic and Tesla to develop next-generation automotive-grade battery cells and accelerate the market expansion of electric vehicles. In 2009, Panasonic and Tesla initially entered into a supply agreement. In 2010, Panasonic invested $30 million in Tesla to deepen the partnership and foster the growth of the electric vehicle industry.

Panasonic supplies cells with the highest energy density and industry-leading performance using its nickel-type cathode technology. Panasonic and Tesla together have developed a next-generation battery cell based on this nickel chemistry and optimized specifically for electric vehicle quality and life. These new cells will combine with Tesla's proven EV battery expertise gained from more than 15 million customer miles driven in Tesla Roadsters and thousands of hours of cell and battery testing to create the most capable electric vehicle ever produced, Model S.

"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."

"Panasonic will supply lithium ion cells for EVs that can achieve longer range with large energy density. It is our pleasure to start supplying the cells for Tesla's Model S and promote sustainable mobility," said Masato Ito, President, Energy Company of Panasonic Corporation.

Tesla is a supplier of batteries and powertrains to Toyota and Daimler. Tesla is a comprehensive electric vehicle powertrain component supplier to the electric vehicle industry.

About Panasonic
Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of electronic products for a wide range of consumer, business, and industrial needs. Based in Osaka, Japan, the company recorded consolidated net sales of 8.69 trillion yen (US$105 billion) for the year ended March 31, 2011. The company's shares are listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and New York (NYSE: PC) stock exchanges. For more information on the company and the Panasonic brand, visit the company's website at http://panasonic.net/

About Tesla Motors
Tesla's goal is to accelerate the world's transition to electric mobility with a full range of increasingly affordable electric cars. Palo Alto, California-based Tesla designs and manufactures EVs and EV powertrain components. Tesla has delivered more than 1,840 Roadsters, the world's first electric sports car, to customers world-wide. Model S, the first premium sedan to be built from the ground up as an electric vehicle, goes on the market in mid-2012 in North America, and in Europe and Asia in late 2012. Visit Tesla online at www.teslamotors.com


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  • 13 Comments
      EZEE
      • 3 Years Ago
      Isn't ford opening a battery plant in the USA...or a partner of theirs?
      Spec
      • 3 Years Ago
      I wish A123, Ener1, or another USA supplier got the deal but that is just being nationalistic.
        uncle_sam
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Spec
        I would be willing to BUY A123s new LiFePo4 Pouch cells. Those puppies have 20 Ah per CELL! But A123 says F*CK YO* we don't need you as customer :( A lot of ppl want those cells but then buy chinese instead. Panasonic is not bad, and it is understandable. Panasonic SAVED Teslas arse with 50 million bucks. Panasonic and Toyota invested heavily in tesla, money and evenb the whole nummi plant. So what is wron if panasonic delivers cells for 80.000 evs made on american soil. that is the way a cooperation works. It also might work vice versa as tesla offers their cars in japan http://www.teslamotors.com/tokyo imho thois is an excellent cooperation
      Roy_H
      • 3 Years Ago
      "Tesla says over 6,000 hand-raisers are eagerly awaiting its arrival." Hand-raisers? These people have put deposits of $5k to $40k. They are serious buyers, not hand raisers.
      EVSUPERHERO
      • 3 Years Ago
      Would be nice to get American cells and not have to use the ship and bunker fuel. A123 says hell yes we will take you money tax payers of the US but we damn well won't sell you any batteries. 2wm, A123 should just sell their inferior cells cheaper but in the rare instances you can get them they are 2.25 dollars per ah. 45 dollars for their 20 ah, 3.3v pouch cells that are 3c discharge and 10c for 10 seconds.
      Dave D
      • 3 Years Ago
      These would be the Panasonic cells providing ~260Wh/kg of energy density. This means the pack weight for the Model S will be far below the Roadster pack. The 160 mile version of the battery pack will probably be around 200kg even including the wiring, packaging and cooling elements. Now we're getting a powertrain weight that rivals that of it's ICE competitors.
        electronx16
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dave D
        Actually Panasonic has a range of 18650 cells with different energy densities. You reckon Tesla will go for the 3100ah type? The new silicon (Si) alloy anode gets 4000ah but is still experimental I think: http://techon.nikkeibp.co.jp/article/HONSHI/20100223/180545/
          Naturenut99
          • 3 Years Ago
          @electronx16
          That would be one amazing battery... :),,,,,,, 4000ah in a 18650! If only in our dreams. I +1'd the correction, well worth it.
          Dave D
          • 3 Years Ago
          @electronx16
          Good question, but I think the energy density of those is actually "slightly" lower if they are the ones I think they had targeted for 2013 release: 252Wh/kg vs 266Wh/kg. Of course, they do have a higher volumetric energy density at 800Wh/l vs. 730Wh/l. It would be nice to have a battery pack about the size of a 10 gallon gas tank! http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009/12/panasonic-20091225.html
          electronx16
          • 3 Years Ago
          @electronx16
          ah=mah of course..
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dave D
        Yup, getting verrry close to total powertrain weight of a gas car. On another note, i'd kill to get my hands on those cells. What i'm using has high output ( RC Lipo packs ) but only 160whr/kg. I've got a 12 pound battery pack that will do 40 miles, but with these panasonics i could do 60-70 miles on the same weight. grr!
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 3 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          the laptop cells have relatively poor power density. at 2C they drop to 220Wh/kg (from 245). besides your 5.5kg pack weight is hardly an issue is it : ) for a bicycle you should be much more concerned with longevity. those panasonics are down to 70% after only 300 cycles. I imagine RC lipo is pretty bad too. a really good cell is the 20Ah A123 at 135Wh/kg but alas they wont sell those.. there is something wrong with suits
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      A123 aren't all that great actually. Good output, but only about 150whr/kg. NMC is going to crush A123's formula of lifepo4 in energy and power density. Panasonic's last gen cells are about 200whr/kg, new ones around 250whr/kg. Does that give you any idea how dated A123s are?
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