Tesla Motors is on the move today, announcing an expanded deal with Panasonic for more and better lithium-ion automotive batteries as well as progress on the US Supercharger network. To go along with the Supercharger news – which is all about the West Coast – Tesla is taking a specially marked #DriveFree Model S (complete with social media campaign angle) along the route offering, yes, free drives. The opening of the West Coast Supercharger Corridor along US Highway 101 and Interstate 5 means that, according to Tesla, "more than 99 percent of Californians and 87 percent of Oregon and Washington owners are now within 200 miles of a Supercharger." In other words, go out there and have yourself a drive.

On Twitter, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said, the "Tesla West Coast Supercharger network now energized. Travel from Vancouver to Tijuana in styel!" (sic). He added that the "East Coast Supercharger network should be complete in a few months." We doubt complete here means no future stations will ever be built, just that there will soon be something resembling a Florida-Maine route available for Model S drivers by early 2014.

In other Tesla news, the EV automaker announced that battery supplier Panasonic will soon be shipping even more of its little cylindrical lithium-ion battery cells to Tesla. The expanded deal (not in any way surprising) means Panasonic will "supply nearly 2 billion [automotive-grade] cells over the course of four years," destined for the Model S and Model X. Panasonic cells have already moved the Teslas of the world over 130 million customer miles in Roadsters and Model S EVs since way back, the companies said.
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TESLA ENERGIZES WEST COAST SUPERCHARGER CORRIDOR
ENABLES FREE LONG DISTANCE TRAVEL BETWEEN SAN DIEGO AND VANCOUVER

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

PALO ALTO, Calif.-- Tesla Motors today announced the opening of the West Coast Supercharger Corridor, energizing a network of stations that enable Model S owners to travel for free between San Diego, California and Vancouver, British Columbia.

With stations along U.S. Highway 101 and Interstate 5, the West Coast's key routes, cities and destinations are connected by Tesla Superchargers. Model S customers can drive between San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Sacramento, Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver for free with minimal stops. More than 99 percent of Californians and 87 percent of Oregon and Washington owners are now within 200 miles of a Supercharger.

Tesla Superchargers are substantially more powerful than any other charging technology in the world, capable of charging Model S 20x faster than most public charging stations. Superchargers deliver up to 120 kW DC (Direct Current) power directly to the Model S battery, providing half a charge in as little as 20 minutes. Superchargers are strategically placed along major highways connecting city centers. Stations are located where customers want to stop, near amenities like roadside diners, cafes and shopping centers, so owners can stop for a quick meal while their Model S charges for free.

This morning in San Diego, two Model S will embark on a 1,750 mile #DriveFree road trip to Vancouver powered only by Tesla Superchargers. The journey will take them through Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Sacramento, Mt. Shasta, Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver, with stops at popular destinations such as the Santa Monica pier, Monterey Bay and the world famous Pike Place Fish Market. Throughout the trip, Tesla will be hosting owner and media events and providing real time updates from the road on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
About Tesla

Tesla Motors' (NASDAQ: TSLA) goal is to accelerate the world's transition to electric mobility with a full range of increasingly affordable electric cars. California-based Tesla designs and manufactures EVs, as well as EV powertrain components for industry partners.


Panasonic And Tesla Reach Agreement To Expand Supply Of Automotive-Grade Battery Cells

OSAKA, Japan and PALO ALTO, Calif., Oct. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Panasonic Corporation and Tesla Motors today announced that the two companies have reached an agreement in which Panasonic will expand its supply of automotive-grade lithium-ion battery cells to Tesla. With this agreement, the two companies update and expand their 2011 arrangement to now supply nearly 2 billion cells over the course of four years. The lithium-ion battery cells purchased from Panasonic will be used to power the award winning Model S as well as Model X, a performance utility vehicle that is scheduled to go into production by the end of 2014.

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. Panasonic's cells combined with Tesla's proven EV battery expertise have already enabled more than 130 million customer miles driven in Tesla Roadsters and Model S.

"This expanded agreement with Panasonic is important to Tesla as we continue to increase the pace of production," said Tesla Co-Founder and CEO Elon Musk. "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."

Together, Panasonic and Tesla have developed a next-generation battery cell technology that provides the highest energy density and best performance cells in the market. Panasonic's cylindrical cell is a customized technology designed specifically for optimizing electric vehicle quality and life. These cells are integrated by Tesla into the battery pack in a way that enables an industry-leading range of approximately 265 miles for the Model S.

"We are extremely proud to be a strategic partner of Tesla," said Yoshihiko Yamada, president of the Automotive & Industrial Systems Company, an internal company of Panasonic. "Panasonic will increase its production capacity of lithium-ion battery cells to supply Tesla's growing needs as it expands its production of EVs."

About Panasonic

Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development and engineering of electronic technologies and solutions for customers in residential, non-residential, mobility and personal applications. Since its founding in 1918, the company has expanded globally and now operates over 500 consolidated companies worldwide, recording consolidated net sales of 7.30 trillion yen for the year ended March 31, 2013. Committed to pursuing new value through innovation across divisional lines, the company strives to create a better life and a better world for its customers. For more information about Panasonic, please visit the company's website at http://panasonic.net/.

About Tesla

Tesla Motors' (NASDAQ: TSLA) goal is to accelerate the world's transition to electric mobility with a full range of increasingly affordable electric cars. California-based Tesla designs and manufactures EVs, as well as EV powertrain components for partners such as Toyota and Daimler. Tesla has delivered more than 15,000 electric vehicles to customers in 31 countries.

Interested in keeping up with Tesla Motors?
For more information on Tesla Motors and its products, please visit: teslamotors.com
For more information for Tesla Motors investors, please visit: ir.teslamotors.com
For the latest information from Tesla Motors, including press releases and the Tesla blog, please visit: teslamotors.com/press

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release, including statements regarding the timing of Model X production, are "forward-looking statements" that are subject to risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements are based on management's current expectations, and as a result of certain risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those projected. Various important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements, including potential problems with Model X suppliers and potential delays in the design and testing of Model X, as well as the risks and uncertainties identified under the sections captioned "Risk Factors" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results Of Operations" in Tesla's Form 10-Q filed on August 9, 2013. Tesla disclaims any obligation to update information contained in these forward-looking statements.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 23 Comments
      Joeviocoe
      • 1 Year Ago
      Step #1: Sales And Production First and most important point are two key statements from CEO Elon Musk from the Q2 conference call: We have production constraints, not demand constraint. So that's where we are really spending our time line, is clearing up those production bottlenecks or supply chain bottlenecks. I think we should have probably cleared most of the amount in the next six months. Okay, so where does he see production? Aside from the 40,000 annualized bare minimum in production in late 2014 with upside potential of it being higher, where is he ultimately targeting production? ultimately...producing 0.5 million vehicles a year...I certainly see a clear path. I do not see obstacles. I see a fairly clear path to that vehicle. Okay, so the target is 500,000 vehicles. But that would involve building entirely new facilities from scratch, no? No. More from Elon Musk: What we did was, we brought about half, I guess, of the south land parcel and NUMMI as a whole as a factory had about half million unit capacity. So production needs to be slightly more space efficient than to achieve the 500K number or buy some more land. NUMMI, or New United Motor Manufacturing Inc., used to be jointly owned by Toyota and General Motors for 26 years and had a 500,000 vehicle capacity. As Elon Musk mentioned, they need to be "slightly" more space efficient to achieve 500,000. It doesn't sound like much of a challenge.
      Joeviocoe
      • 1 Year Ago
      http://seekingalpha.com/article/1780582-teslas-path-to-a-conservative-500-per-share
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ita great news for us
      EZEE
      • 1 Year Ago
      Thankfully, M. Stanley Whittingham invented the lithium-ion battery at Exxon. Had Exxon not sponsored this research, there might not be any tesla right now. Thanks Exxon! :)
        Grendal
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EZEE
        And in our past we once had slave owners that didn't abuse or beat their slaves. You will probably be voted down for bringing up Exxon, but we have all driven gas cars and use the products that Exxon and similar companies have made available to us. It is our legacy and we need to learn from our past so we can do better in the future. Good job, Stanley. And thanks for mentioning him, EZEE.
      Rotation
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's great to see that many stations built. It would be nice to see one in Tahoe too though. I know within 200 miles (100 in the case of Sacramento to Tahoe) seems great, but for round trips it doesn't leave a lot of extra driving at the destination when the amount you can add in a reasonable amount of time is only a bit over 200 miles (charging gets slower as the battery nears full). There are some charging facilities in Tahoe, but given the number of Teslas owned in the Bay Area and the rate at which regular AC chargers fill Teslas, there won't be enough soon. Tesla could fix that up real quick. There's still the issue of leaving a car unplugged overnight in the winter in Tahoe, but at least the summer situation could be fixed up.
        Grendal
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rotation
        For Tesla it's a very tricky customer relations problem for who, where, and when a Supercharger get put in place. Do you focus on the whole network and space them around the country? Do you focus on putting them in nearest to your largest car concentrations? I don't envy the choices that Tesla is forced to make.
          Grendal
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Grendal
          I was in the Bay Area last weekend and was impressed with the number of Model S's, Leafs, and Volts on the road. I expect it to take until 2017 before the Supercharger network is realized. Thereafter, I'm certain that Tesla will continue to place stations where they are needed. Also there will be continuous upgrades to the system since we've had two in just the first year.
          Rotation
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Grendal
          Well, they should be putting them on I-80 eventually anyway although they may skip Truckee (Tahoe) and just put the next charger by Reno instead. Unfortunately (for Bay Area Folks), the East-West route Musk has chosen is out of LA, not out of NorCal. Maybe in late 2014.
      Rotation
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's a hella lot. Toyota used to make more than 100,000 Corollas a year there and still had leftover room to make some trucks and/or crossovers too. As to cars per sq. foot, Tesla doesn't tell anyone what percentage of the space they're using right now, so no one knows. Tesla is making a much larger percentage of the car in that plant than Toyota ever did, so I think the car output per sq. foot would be lower than when building Corollas.
      EZEE
      • 1 Year Ago
      :-)
      Grendal
      • 1 Year Ago
      See my response to Sebringc5
      Grendal
      • 1 Year Ago
      2 billion batteries will cover all the Model S and Model X needs. I don't think it covers any of the Model E/Gen III. Just 250K, which is half the proposed production, is 1.5 billion batteries. That's assuming that it uses only 6000 per car. We're gonna need a bigger factory.
        sebringc5
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Grendal
        Agreed on the space issue. However the old NUMMI plant in Fremont where they are located has a lot of room to spare. I thought to much, but with this announcement and them building an on-site test track, makes perfect sense. I look forward to the Nov 5th earning report! All the best, Aaron Lephart www.smartcar451.com
        Joeviocoe
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Grendal
        What do we know about the maximum capacity of the old NUMMI (Freemont) factory? For the area that Tesla now occupies, are they building more cars in that sq-ft area than Toyota did? Are they building more than predicted? There exists a possibility that Tesla will shock people about their production process. They may be able to produce more cars in a smaller space if they optimize correctly and take advantage of how the battery gets placed.
      CoolWaters
      • 1 Year Ago
      Who said business is boring! It's fund to watch Tesla Grow and Exxon Die.
        Marcopolo
        • 1 Year Ago
        @CoolWaters
        @ CoolWaters While it's great witnessing Tesla's continue to expand, the U.S. has now surpassed Russia and Saudi Arabia in oil and natural gas production, according to a recent report released by Pira Energy Group. Much of this success is due to Exxon's huge investment in exploration, refining and exploitation technology. Hating oil companies is kind of silly, since even Tesla uses oil products in the manufacture of auto-mobiles. ( tyres, loom insulation, paint, adhesives, plastic's, ceramics, compounds etc ) In fact the most profitable part of the oil industry, is the production non-energy, petro-chemical products.
        bluepongo1
        • 1 Year Ago
        @CoolWaters
        http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/there-were-300-oil-spills-in-north-dakota-and-nobody-reported-any-of-them <===< Somebody mention Exxon's recent work ? :-(
        jeff
        • 1 Year Ago
        @CoolWaters
        Exxon will not die, but they will be greatly diminished over time if they do not adapt to the use of EV's....
        EZEE
        • 1 Year Ago
        @CoolWaters
        Leave it to me, your friendly radical right wing extremist to look at, sans emotion, Cool's statement. Tesla grow, Exxon die. In the first quarter of the year, tesla recorded profits of $11 million on roughly $500 million in revenue. Another quarter, forget which, they had a loss of $30 million, but this was taking into account the payoff of their loan, so profit would have been $26 million (we all appreciate them paying off the loan, so I am happy to give them that as a profit quarter). Exxon has been up and down, but, on average, they make, in profit, about $104 million a day. $104 million a day. I do not think that quite qualifies as 'dying.' But, tesla is doing well, something everyone can be happy about.
      RC
      • 1 Year Ago
      Batteries are an integral part of Tesla's operation. At one point or another Tesla is going to have to do its own battery R&D.
        methos1999
        • 1 Year Ago
        @RC
        What makes you think they aren't doing battery R&D already? What makes you think the batteries in the Model S aren't already proprietary just for them? Panasonic may be taking the brunt of the capital investment to build plants to supply the Model S/X, but I would surmise that the batteries they're churning out are made to Tesla specifications. That being said, it's entirely possible Tesla may bring battery manufacturing in house to gain the cost advantages that come with vertical integration - but if they do so it will be in the far future. For now they need all the capital & revenue they can muster to get the Gen III / Bluestar / Model E to market and maintain profitability.
      Grendal
      • 1 Year Ago
      I wasn't clear. We're gonna need a bigger battery factory.
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