Tesla: Toyota Desires Battery R&D Partnership, Panasonic Wants Gigafactory For Itself

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
tesla toyota desires battery r d partnership panasonic wants gigafactory for itself

Though Toyota will soon end its battery program with Tesla for its RAV4 EV crossovers, the automaker aims to remain R&D partners on battery technology. Meanwhile, Panasonic wants to be the only producer involved in Tesla’s Gigafactory production.

Reuters reports the company plans to invest in stages, with the final amount and timeframe not yet known; Tesla seeks a total $3 billion from outside investors in addition to the $2 billion it invested into the project. Panasonic’s current lithium-ion business has performed well as Tesla seeks more batteries for its Model S, having gone as far as to sign a contract last October with the automaker for around 2 billion battery cells by 2017. The company itself aims to take the top spot on the podium by end of FY 2018, where it plans to make $4.43 billion annually from all battery production activities.

Meanwhile, Automotive News reports Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America CEO and president Osamu Nagata wants to continue working with Tesla on battery technology as the three-year agreement for the latter to supply 2,600 packs for the former draws to a close:

Tesla has quite a clear business strategy for developing a better battery. [Automakers] as well as suppliers need to work on developing better batteries.

Toyota is currently turning its focus on fuel-cell technology, which Nagata hopes his employer can show “the very strong capabilities” of the vehicles using the tech in order to convince more people “of the potential and possibilities” fuel cell vehicles — such as Toyota’s own upcoming FCV — have to offer.

Join the conversation
  • Robert Fahey Robert Fahey on May 23, 2014

    Panasonic/Toyota/Tesla isn't a bad romance, but an odd romance: http://teslamondo.com/2014/05/23/spring-romances-starting-to-blossom/

  • JPWhite JPWhite on May 23, 2014

    Don't be surprised Toyota wants to continue battery research despite 'focusing on Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles'. Fuel Cell vehicles employ traction batteries, so research on batteries is a natural outcome of building fuel cell electric vehicles.

    • See 2 previous
    • Chopsui Chopsui on May 24, 2014

      @JPWhite He means they're here to stay.

  • SoCalMikester SoCalMikester on May 23, 2014

    panasonic is slowly dying. its not the same company it was even 10 years ago and needs to become profitable again. also JVC, akai,kenwood, etc samsung, LG, hyundai are doing to japan what japan did to the USA in the 70s and 80s. maybe japan, inc. should start buying some of those companies? GM already got daewoo...