Panasonic plans to generate almost $4 billion a year in sales of lithium-ion batteries and other related products by the year-ending 2019, Reuters says, citing Panasonic executive Kenji Tamura. The company will be the exclusive supplier of batteries for Tesla Motors' Model 3, which has 373,000 reservations on the books. Panasonic is investing $1.6 billion in Tesla's $5-billion Gigafactory being built in Nevada and obviously hopes that revenue growth equates to a good return on that substantial investment. Tesla reportedly has held talks with companies such as LG Chem, Samsung, and SK Innovation to broaden its supply of electric-vehicle batteries, but Panasonic still has the inside track for those deliveries.
Volkswagen may push that revenue growth even further. VW is taking a close look at both Panasonic and South Korea-based LG Chem as a potential partner in the automaker's increased emphasis on electric-vehicle production, according to Bloomberg News. VW is looking to play catch-up with companies such as Nissan, Toyota, and, yes, Tesla, and has estimated that it may sell as many as 3 million electric vehicles a year by 2025. In fact, Volkswagen may invest as much as $2 billion in electric-vehicle production and has said it may build its own version of a Gigafactory in order to reach some economies of scale. Panasonic and LG Chem spokespeople declined to comment to Bloomberg.