Panasonic Ready To Up Investment In Tesla Gigfactory

1 year ago by Eric Loveday 38

A recent picture of Tesla's Gigafactory under construction outside Reno, Nevada. Photo credit: Above Reno

A recent picture of Tesla’s Gigafactory under construction outside Reno, Nevada. Photo credit: Above Reno

Panasonic Cell

Panasonic Cell

Possibly in response to recent reports that Tesla Motors has been in talks with LG Chem, Samsung SDI and SK Innovations for potential battery cell supply deals, Panasonic has made it known that its ready to up its investments plans in Tesla’s Gigfactory to support huge demand for the upcoming Model 3.

Yoshio Ito, head of Panasonic’s automotive division, told reporters:

“We will do our best to move up the schedule if requested.” 

Panasonic’s current plan is to invest $1.6 billion into the Gigfactory over the next few years. If need be, Panasonic will move up its investment to meet Tesla’s newly announced targets of 100,000 Model 3s built in 2017 and 500,000 Tesla vehicles built in 2018.

Ito added that Panasonic just doesn’t “want to be a bottleneck.”

In recent years, Panasonic has dropped most of its money-losing division. The company now focuses intensively on the lithium-ion battery market and relies heavily upon its deals with Tesla.

Automotive News adds:

“Panasonic is aiming to nearly double its automotive business revenue to 2 trillion yen ($18.2 billion) over the next three years, representing roughly 20 percent of overall sales.”

“To expand its presence in the auto industry, the company bought 49 percent of Spanish auto-parts maker Ficosa International SA last year.”

Though Panasonic is tightly involved with Tesla, Ito says that the battery maker is trying to balance its investments to avoid risks.

Source: Automotive News, hat tip to sven!

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38 responses to "Panasonic Ready To Up Investment In Tesla Gigfactory"

  1. Get Real says:

    I called it!

  2. jelloslug says:

    Now just wait a second. Was there not a person here just the other day that said that Panasonic was dumping Tesla and trying to get out of the Gigafactory?

    1. Speculawyer says:

      Yes . . . a troll.

    2. sven says:

      It was not just a person, but a battery expert.

      Battery Expert
      May 17, 2016 at 1:56 pm

      Pasanosic will bail out very soon, they have decided to terminate the relation as Tesla is nasty and very unreasonable, they have quarreled for the past 6 months as Pasansis is unwilling to put money in, as for Koreans, they are not going to supply the cells at a loss, never mention they would put big commitment into supplying M3 cells, as no one really know the REAL demand for the car once it comes out, no one knows the price, so it is suicidal for LG/Samsung/SK/Pasanosic to invest a huge amount of money without REAL sales.

      TSLA is near Chapter 7 now.

      http://insideevs.com/tesla-in-talks-with-lg-samsung-sk-innovation-for-battery-cells-for-model-3/#comment-851564

      1. kdawg says:

        I’ve always wondered who these people were IRL, and what their motivations are. Are they trying to manipulate for stock purposes? Are they paid to spread FUD? Are they just haters/misereable?

        1. KumarP says:

          The answer to your questions is Yes

        2. beta995 says:

          Wall Street Trolls.
          Negative comment generators, for the comment algo’s to pick up negative sentiment.

        3. Four Electrics says:

          Perhaps they just have a different opinion than the prevailing groupthink.

          1. Get Real says:

            I think its more likely based on the constant whining and trolling that they have financial incentives for Tesla to fail.

            1. Four Electrics says:

              That’s just another form of ad hominem attack though, isn’t it? Shouldn’t one attempt to rebutt point with counterpoint, rather than attack the person with unsubstantiated libel? Who’s being the better human being here?

              1. Get Real says:

                The laughable self-annointed username “Battery Expert” was rebutted in that thread starting with their misspelling of Panasonic as Pasansis. At a certain point you have to call the troll as the troll they demonstrably are.

          2. kdawg says:

            I’m speaking of “trolls” in general. The ones with nothing to add, and always rain negativity. It’s not a one time deal, but a repeated effort. And I say effort because it takes a significant amount of time to troll like some.

            In my mind, I picture the guy from South Park.

            1. ModernMarvelFan says:

              LOL.

              I knew it that we can always count on Kdawg to provide us with some of the best graphic illustration one can find on internet comment sections.

              I am going to start giving out the “kdawg award” for anyone who can provide pictures as good as you. =)

              1. TomArt says:

                😀

              2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                ModernMarvelFan said:

                “I am going to start giving out the ‘kdawg award’ for anyone who can provide pictures as good as you. =) ”

                I think that award would be as rarely given out (to anyone other than kdawg) about as rarely as if there was a Superman award given to those who can demonstrate bullets bouncing off their chests.

                We mere mortals cannot possibly compete in that category with the awesome ability of kdawg to find, and edit, pictures to illustrate the discussion! 😀

            2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

              kdawg

              “I’m speaking of ‘trolls’ in general. The ones with nothing to add, and always rain negativity. It’s not a one time deal, but a repeated effort. And I say effort because it takes a significant amount of time to troll like some.”

              I think there is a great deal of truth in that “South Park” stereotype. In general, trolls are losers who literally have nothing better to do with their time than sit around writing things to get attention, and the “best” way to do that on an Internet forum is to write things that are so outrageous that, well, people will be outraged.

              I don’t know whether to feel more pity or contempt for someone who can’t find something better, or at least less negative, to do with their time.

              It’s a slightly less infantile form of throwing a tantrum, which has the same aim. But generally children who throw a tantrum stop when they’ve vented their rage. Trolls just… keep trolling.

              1. Kdawg says:

                Hey that’s the angry baby statue from Norway! I was there last year.

                Regarding trolls, people always say PDFTT, but sometimes I just can’t resist. Especially if newbies are buying the info.

                It’s hard to find good groups nowadays that are low-troll & low-fanboy, so people can actually discuss the topic. I’d say IEV’s for the most part is a good group of readers. Only sometimes it gets a little too Tesla-fanboyish, in the comments, for me (and I’m actually a big fan of Tesla)

  3. jerryd says:

    Well duh. Panasonic isn’t really needed other than buying, running the machines.
    If needed
    Or Tesla could just do it themselves.
    What amazes me is why Panasonic isn’t putting their own designs on the market as I’d love to buy some modules for home and EV use.
    There is a large market in small transport and home, building batteries but no one is supplying it.
    Instead I have to use crashed EV ones instead.

    1. jelloslug says:

      The ones from crashed cars are probably cheaper than new ones from Panasonic anyway….

    2. sven says:

      jerryd said:
      “Panasonic isn’t really needed other than buying, running the machines.”

      I think there might be more to it than just that.

      1. jerryd says:

        The cells are Tesla patented design so Panasonic can’t make them except for Tesla.

        1. sven says:

          Didn’t Tesla giveaway all its patents for free to anyone who wants to make EVs?

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            I don’t think that’s a rhetorical question. Did Tesla really give away all its patents, or only the ones directly related to its Supercharger system?

            I’m not sure.

            1. James says:

              All patents, Gigafactory and Tesla Energy included. Funny though all the high security for the Gigafactory (just being facetious). “Give away” isn’t quite factual, better stated “can use” their patents. Tesla still owns them, so they can always change their current policy. This may be why I’ve not seen any company jump on them. Definately great PR, but unfortunately maybe not so successful in encouraging more EV R&D.

    3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “Panasonic isn’t really needed… Tesla could just do it themselves.”

      You’re suggesting that Panasonic has no proprietary chemistry, and no proprietary tech for the internal structure of the cells? That seems unlikely. Those who blithely talk about “commodity batteries” seem to think there’s no more difference between different types of li-ion batteries than between, say, Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

      In reality, the EV battery business is fiercely competitive. Heck, the manufacturers and the auto makers even hide the prices they pay!

      “What amazes me is why Panasonic isn’t putting their own designs on the market as I’d love to buy some modules for home and EV use.”

      Let’s keep in mind that it was only a few short years ago that there was a glut on the market of li-ion batteries, as the market for plug-in EVs didn’t grow as fast as anticipated. Envia went out of business, and A123 nearly so. As a Tesla fanboy I am frustrated that Panasonic has been reluctant to ramp up production, but I certainly understand why they are being cautious.

      Much as I think it’s inevitable that the EV revolution will eventually see gasmobiles replaced with BEVs, we certainly can’t bet on just what battery tech future BEVs will run on. Perhaps lithium-air rechargeable fuel cells, usually called “batteries”? Innovative flow cells using tech that solves the power bottleneck? Heck, even a technology that uses nuclear energy to produce electricity directly, with very minimal shielding (we’re talking about tin foil here… and I don’t mean hats!) has been demonstrated in the lab.

      Betting big on any single battery tech, when the field is changing as fast as it is, is a big gamble. Panasonic doesn’t want its battery division to wind up being the next Envia.

  4. Speculawyer says:

    “What amazes me is why Panasonic isn’t putting their own designs on the market as I’d love to buy some modules for home and EV use.”

    They do.

    http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/details/beitrag/panasonic-to-roll-out-home-battery-to-europe–starting-with-germany_100020921/#axzz49DaJGcwt

    1. jerryd says:

      I’ve seen that and many other pr for 3 yrs now but where are they?

  5. evcarnuts says:

    Let’s just Wait & see what happens …Interesting According to this ….Elon is ” “NOT” Unreasonable..I know That!!!!!!!!!!!!..

  6. Anon says:

    Typical passive aggressive statement: “…if we are asked”…

  7. Four Electrics says:

    So much posturing. Everyone is playing everyone. That’s business for you.

  8. SJC says:

    “100,000 Model 3s built in 2017 and 500,000 Tesla vehicles built in 2018.”

    That is not likely to happen, this is why credibility is doubted.

    1. MJP462 says:

      +1
      It is hard to imagine.

    2. Get Real says:

      Probably not but I bet they make good progress towards this goal and that is what really matters.

  9. CDAVIS says:

    Panasonic said: “We will do our best to move up the schedule if requested.”

    I don’t like the “do our best” part.

    I’d prefer to hear: “We will move up the schedule if requested.”

    1. KumarP says:

      Yeah that’s a bit wankery

    2. Rick Danger says:

      I’d prefer to hear: “We are getting everything ready to move up the schedule as soon as we get the word.

  10. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    “We [Panasonic] will do our best to move up the schedule if requested.”

    Tesla has set the probably impossible goal of producing at least 100,000 Model ≡’s by the end of next year*, but they have not yet asked Panasonic to speed up the construction of the Gigafactory?!?!

    Speaking as a Tesla fanboy, that’s the most disturbing thing I’ve heard in years. That’s even more worrisome to me than Tesla deciding to go ahead with the falcon-wing doors with no other option available on the Model X.

    *Someone “corrected” me when I wrote the same in a post maybe 2-3 weeks ago, saying that Tesla has only said it plans to achieve a run rate equal to 100k-200k per year by end of 2017. But it’s been widely reported otherwise, and if it’s a misquote, then at the very least Tesla isn’t rushing to correct it. (But “Absence of evidence isn’t evidence of absence.” Except when it is.)

    Here’s what an online ABC News article says: “Musk said he expects the company will produce 100,000 to 200,000 cars by the end of next year…” (source below)

    I’d like to see the exact quote, and not just a paraphrase of what Musk said.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/elon-musk-update-tesla-model/story?id=38893711

    1. Doggydogworld says:

      During the Q1 earnings conference call Musk said:

      “So as a rough guess, I would say we would aim to produce 100,000 to 200,000 Model 3s in the second half of next year. That’s my expectation right now.”

      He said this off-the-cuff, in response to a question. It contradicts his other statements and Tesla’s newly announced plans. Just an example of his mouth moving faster than his brain, disregard this statement and any media articles based on it entirely.