There's definitely a chance that Tesla's advantageous partnership with Panasonic could come to an end at some point. As we previously reported, sometimes it seems the Japanese battery cell maker is enamored with its Tesla partnership, but other times it appears that's not necessarily the case.
Will Tesla move forward on its own? Will it establish a new partnership? Will it buy out Panasonic's stake in the Gigafactory?
More Panasonic News:
Our good friend and colleague Sean Mitchell dives much deeper into the history of the Tesla / Panasonic situation. He also uses the information he's researched and gleaned to forecast the future of the partnership. Here's hoping it will last over the long haul, but it's hard to know based on the details at hand.
As always, please scroll down and share your insights and opinions in our all-new comment section.
Video Description via Sean Mitchell (AllThingsEV.info) on YouTube:
The end of Tesla and Panasonic partnership?
There are two questions I’d like to answer in this video:
Will we see the end of Tesla’s exclusive partnership with Panasonic
Will Tesla buy out Panasonic’s Gigafactory investment of $1.6b and move battery cell production in house?
July 21, 2009 Tesla and Panasonic sign initial supply agreement
November 2010 Panasonic invest $30m in common stock
October 11, 2011 Tesla and Panasonic extend supply agreement with battery cells for 80,000 vehicles over four years
February 26, 2014 Tesla announces plans for Gigafactory
End of Q2 2014 Tesla had produced ~40,000 Model S
July 21, 2014 Tesla and Panasonic sign agreement for Giga 1
March 21, 2016 Tesla unveils Model 3
July 30, 2016 Tesla unveils Gigafactory
July 1, 2018 Panasonic says they would invest more into Giga 1 if Tesla asked
August 2018 Tesla says they are at 20 GWh cell production with a goal to get to 35 GWh by end of year
September 27, 2018 Panasonic says they will add 3 more cell lines to a total of 13 by end of year
November 2, 2018 Elon says they will source batteries locally from companies including Panasonic and Lishan Battery (clients: Apple, Samsung, Geely, and Hyundai)
January 21, 2019 Panasonic and Toyota announce partnership for prismatic batteries
February 4, 2019 Maxwell announces merger with Tesla
April 11, 2019 Nikkei reports that Panasonic will not be making any new investments in Giga 1 and 3
April 13, 2019 Elon Musk says Panasonic is only producing 24 GWh/year
April 24, 2019 Panasonic considers converting Japanese 18650 line to 2170 for Model 3 to go into affect March 2020
Tesla and Panasonic no longer has an exclusive agreement to work together
Panasonic could not fully fulfill 35 GWh of cell production
Tesla appears to be working with other cell suppliers like Lishen Battery
This does indicate the end of Tesla and Panasonic’s exclusive agreement.
One question: Where does Maxwell acquisition fit into the mix?
I had originally toyed around with the idea of Tesla buying out Panasonic at Giga 1 and getting even more vertical with battery cell production. Though this could be a potential in the future, however, in order for this to happen Tesla would need to execute on the Maxwell acquisition and assume that their tech can sustain high volume production.
*Editor's note on video description: Sean Mitchell always does a fabulous job researching his information and providing links. Due to the lengthy video description, we removed most of the source links. If you're a fact-checker, feel free to visit Sean's channel and the original YouTube video for details.