Panasonic Unveils Prototype Battery to Help Tesla Lower Production Costs

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The logo of Japan's Panasonic is displayed astatine  company's showroom successful  Tokyo, connected  May 10, 2021. (Philip Fong/AFP via Getty Images)

The logo of Japan's Panasonic is displayed astatine company's showroom successful Tokyo, connected May 10, 2021. (Philip Fong/AFP via Getty Images)

TOKYO—Panasonic connected Monday unveiled a caller ample prototype battery designed to assistance Tesla Inc. little electric vehicle (EV) accumulation costs, successful a determination the Japanese company’s artillery main said would deepen concern ties with its cardinal U.S. customer.

During a media roundtable wherever Kazuo Tadanobu showed the artillery that is astir 5 times the size of those presently utilized by Tesla, helium besides said Panasonic had nary plans to marque cheaper Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) batteries for much affordable EVs.

Tesla’s determination to diversify artillery suppliers to companies specified arsenic South Korea’s LG Energy Solution, and China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co (CATL), and Panasonic’s merchantability of Tesla shares had raised questions implicit the aboriginal of their decade-long partnership.

But arsenic the sole shaper of the 4680 format (46 millimeters wide and 80 millimeters tall) battery, Panasonic should stay a captious nexus successful the EV maker’s proviso chain, astatine slightest for its pricier models.

“We person developed this due to the fact that of the beardown tendency of the different party, and we deliberation this tin lone pb to stronger ties,” Tadanobu said.

He did not accidental erstwhile Panasonic, which operates a works successful Nevada that supplies Tesla, would statesman full-scale production.

Panasonic’s determination to debar LFP powerfulness packs means Tesla is buying those from CATL for immoderate China-made Model 3 and Model Ys, and entry-level Model 3s successful the United States.

LFP batteries, 95 percent of which are made successful China, are considered cheaper and safer than nickel-based batteries, but person little vigor density and request to beryllium recharged much often. Panasonic’s car batteries are nickel-cobalt-aluminum (NCA).

Tesla wants the cheaper cobalt-free Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) batteries for its standard-range electrical vehicles but needs to fig retired however to flooded governmental tensions to get a Chinese spouse to physique the iron-based batteries adjacent its U.S. factories.

Apple Inc. has besides been successful treatment with CATL and China’s electrical conveyance shaper BYD astir becoming LPF artillery suppliers for its planned electrical vehicle. Those talks, however, person stalled due to the fact that the Chinese companies person refused to physique plants successful the United States, sources told Reuters past week.

Tadanobu declined to accidental whether Apple had approached Panasonic astir buying EV batteries.

By Tim Kelly

Reuters

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