The clash of cultures that follows Tesla everywhere has landed in Japan, put into words by the company's director of battery technology, Kurt Kelty, during a speech he recently gave in Osaka. Referring to Japanese battery partners that the company wants to engage with for its gigafactory, Kelty said that the suppliers aren't being aggressive enough. "We take risks," he said, "but it seems not the case in Japan."

That gigafactory and Tesla's expansion plans will require an enthusiastic push from the companies who make the technology that makes the cars go, not only to build enough product to suit Tesla's production goals but also to drive down the price of batteries, which would drive down the price of electric cars. It seems Tesla is happy with the quality of the batteries it's getting, but not the commitment to growth. "We're a growing company, and therefore we need to put pressure on the suppliers, so the suppliers need to grow as well," Kelty said.

The speech was Kelty's way of saying - cue the dramatic action-movie music - "I need to know you're on board..." But he should know exactly what he's up against since this particular cultural divide isn't new and Kelty spent 14 years at Panasonic. We've never heard of this kind of speech having the intended effect, but who knows - if Tesla can sell the cars, someone has to know they'll make a lot of money putting batteries in them.

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