Panasonic CEO: Tesla Will Make 500,000 Electric Vehicles Per Year Starting In 2020


Panasonic 18650 High Capacity Lithium Batteries

Panasonic 18650 High Capacity Lithium Batteries

Tesla And Panasonic reach Agreement Over Battery Gigafactory Partnership

Tesla And Panasonic – Gigafactory Partners

Panasonic’s North American Chairman and CEO, Joe Taylor, told the press at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that he believes Tesla will produce some 500,000 electric vehicles per year starting in 2020.

Of course, this statement implies that the Gigafactory will be fully operational by 2020 and that Panasonic will be able to supply Tesla with enough cells for 500,000 electric vehicles per year.

As Business Insider notes, this 500,000-unit figure is “nearly 15x growth from last year, when Tesla manufactured roughly 35,000 units.”

The Gigafactory is scheduled to open for limited production starting in 2017.  It’s unclear at this time when the Gigafactory will be able to produce enough cells for 500,000 Tesla per year, but Panasonic seems to think that production scale will be met starting in 2020.

Source: Business Insider

Categories: Tesla


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57 Comments on "Panasonic CEO: Tesla Will Make 500,000 Electric Vehicles Per Year Starting In 2020"

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Well they better be damn confident about pushing down the costs of the batteries to believe that forecast. Because they are not going to hit such sales figures without getting the battery prices down below $200/KWH.

Title says “Panasonic CEO”. But actually it is “Panasonic’s North American Chairman and CEO” ?

The REAL Panasonic CEO is quite hesitant to plunk down big money for the GF. The future is really quite uncertain right now.

Ok, so you know him so personally that you can vouch to what he thinks and wants to do?

Common… Seriously? No links… Nothing to back up those claims?

… Silly post.

Here is link on insideevs itself:

They committed only $200 million few months later.

That’s just the initial investment.

Yepp… Still missing anything to back upp your previous post.

You think Panasonic Japan would allow the US CEO to make any statement that conflicts with direction from Japan???


Warren said:

“So in five years one car company will sell twice as many EVs as the entire car industry last year.”

I take it you’re somewhat skeptical?

Look at it another way: Ford sold over 1 million of its Focus line last year. So you’re suggesting Tesla can’t sell even half that with three models? Well, we will see.

It won’t -always- be the case that the top-selling gas guzzlers outsell the top-selling plug-in EVs. Sooner or later, PEVs will outsell gas guzzlers.

It’s a traditional Japanese company with lots one institutional investors. They will not make the kinds of far-forward statements Musk would make. They keep their cards close to the vest. But those $200 million show that they are in.

They will invest further so long as Tesla continues to ramp up production and sales. They would only slow or stop investment if Tesla runs into show-stopping problems elsewhere.

Your future predictions of Tesla doom and gloom are the ones at risk See Through!

I’m working on a “See Through filter” for my browser. I’ll let you know how it goes.

“See Through filter”, that’s kind of funny.

More than ‘kind of’… Nicely done.

Are you implying Panasonic North America can invest $200M-$1B without the approval of the Global Panasonic CEO?

Because that is downright laughable.

The money is going in and it was approved by Panasonic global headquarters in Japan.

You beat me to it, I didn’t see your comment.

I’d say hitting $200/kWh won’t be very hard. According to Navigant Research Tesla is now paying Panasonic $180/kwh for batteries.

It is expected that once the Tesla/Panasonic gigafactory is running prices will drop another 30% which would put the price under $130/kwh.

Wonder how long it will take prices to drop to $100/kWh which is about where Navigant puts the price based on material input costs ($70/kWh).

Pannasonic is not doing the BMS for them.

According to this post

global EV sales for 2014 were 228,513, if I added right.

So in five years one car company will sell twice as many EVs as the entire car industry last year. By 2020 one half of the huge post WWII generation will be retired. I guess they will all be plunking down big money for their first and last electric car. 🙂

Well in 2014 Nissan sold over 30K Leafs in the US. That is nearly twice as many electric cars as were sold in all of 2011, only three years prior. Over three times as many Leafs as sold two ago in 2012. That is with the same model too. (Yes 2011 had only two models, but in 2014 there were still only three or four auto companies that were really serious about electric car sales).

Why couldn’t Tesla increase sales 8 times over if they have five years to do it? It is not like 500k would be a large % of the global market.

Here’s to hoping Tesla can sell 500,000 EVs in 2020! Meanwhile I’m still sitting on NV lithium mining stocks, waiting for Tesla to announce deals with them to supply Lithium to the GF.

FYI, lithium is one of the smallest costs of the batteries. Nickel, graphite, and cobalt are much bigger components.

Don’t think for a second that Tesla won’t choose a non-NV lithium supplier if the price is right.

by weight the water in the cooling system is probably a bigger proportion of the battery pack than the Lithium, I would still buy lithium stocks over water. Nickel, Cobalt and Graphite are already produced in huge quantities for other applications……

come to think of it so is lithium, but if any mineral component is going to hold back battery packs it’ll be the lithium.

I am retired and can’t wait until Tesla starts mass production and get the prices down for a reasonable cost EV with at least 200 mile range. I’d get a Model S tomorrow if I could afford it on my pension. I really hope Tesla can pull it off, they recently installed a Supercharger in the heart of Alberta i.e. ‘Oil Country’. Here’s a link to CTV Calgary News at 6:00 on Monday Feb. 2nd.
The Tesla coverage starts at 22:50 … unfortunately it forces you to watch 2 commercials!

Hi neighbor!

I’m assuming you’re part of EVAA (Electric Vehicle Association of Alberta). If not search EVAA on Facebook and join us! 🙂

-Maciej aka Muchski

Hi Muchski, thanks for the EVAA suggestion! I’m signing up now…

I am in the same boat and I want to buy one.
Already retired, two years under the belt, can’t say I miss work. I mean it. Literally I am incapable of saying that. I am a poor liar. People hardly believe me when I am telling them the gospel truth, as I believe it to be so I gave up lying long ago. A sort of a Cassandra figure.
So how would an electric vehicle fit my current life style? Very well as I have a garage with off-street parking, imho, a must in northern climes. I now drive less than 60 miles a week, so the car can charge as long as it needs to. Rates are cheap.
I could go on, but bottom line the pluses are just to many of such magnitude that they are difficult to ignore.
It is a tall order, so maybe not 500k, but 350k, so 10x current production.

Well, shouldn’t you just get an used Leaf that had massive range loss? You need just 10-20 mile range with that kind of mileage per week. You can get one dirt cheap, I would think.

Shush, the grownups are talking.


You mean, the ones with.. senile decay?

I like reading See Through comments because I firmly believe that most commenters here have unrealistics expectations regarding Tesla. It helps as most probably truth is laying somewhere in between what See Trough writes and what true believers write (majority of commenters here).

Yes, though with him there is no expectation of a presumed measured intellectual discourse, no give and take, no back and forth. You know pretty much what he going to say before he says it.

The Leaf does not have an actively managed heating and cooling of the battery pack, which results in poorer performance and faster degradation of the battery pack in less temperate climates. So I probably would not a get a Leaf. Also in driving less 60 miles a week you should not assume that is spaced out evenly. I might not drive for 4 days and do most of my driving in one day.
Additionally I have a moderate aversion to driving, or even being in a vehicle, as I drove for a living for 20 years. So I am not really all that typical. TMI.

Because he probably doesn’t want a Leaf. Cars, yes even electrics, are emotional purchases.

You can’t sell me a Hyundai if what I really want is a BMW.

You’ll be able to get a pre-owned model S 85 or 60, they will go around 50K to 60K better deal than wait for the model 3. They will be available for sure by the end of the year once first buyers stated to upgrade.

I certainly hope that Tesla will be selling 100k compelling EVs by 2020, but elsewhere, the InsideEVs editors have predicted the Model ≡ won’t debut until 2019. That’s probably a lot more realistic, so the prediction of 100k by 2020 is probably overly optimistic.

Contrariwise, Tesla has actually pushed forward plans to complete the GigaFactory by a full year… so who knows? Maybe Tesla will, for the first time in the company’s history, actually manage to debut a car in the year they planned to.

We can always hope!

Oops.. 500k per year, not 100k!

Ah, for an edit button at InsideEVs…

Somewhere around 200k would be reasonable (but fairly optimistic) for 2020.

There is no chance what so ever for 500k by then. But if everything works perfectly they might be there in 2023 or 2024 or so.

very little people know tesla now.but in five years we could all be lined up to buy.
when toy story came out, they weren’t enough
buss light year around so i could get one for the kids.over night a product with the right markething plus high gas prices and
bommm! the sell as fast as they come off the
line.this company hasn’t made a single commercial yet and are selling 35000 cars a
year.shit the sky is the limit.with 500000 car comes dealer ship.five years every one will know electric cars .

oh cristal ball tell me the futur !?

If Tesla makes a $30k 200 mile BEV that is as sexy and smooth as the Model S (luxury features aside) I do believe they will sell 500k per year (total cars).

I have never seen any car as in demand as a lower cost Tesla. I talk to a few thousand people a year about EVs.

I have no doubt that demand for such a car will be 500k (or more – much more!). The question is production – will they be able to hit those targets all in one car, half a million times in a year?

Yes, we already knew that.

Wow, WHAT an article!

Wonder if Tesla will change the form factor of their Panasonic cells; seems to me prismatic cells would take up less space than cylinders. I suspect because they use a cobalt chemistry, safety is the reason.

Not the form, but the size witl increase about 10%.

So, instead of cylindrical 18650, they will be about 20720.

A post at the Tesla Motors Club claims form factor 20700 has been reported by a third party, but I don’t know what the exact dimensions are.

20700 format cells would be 20 mm diameter and 70 mm long.


For every revolution, there are detractors who claim it can never be done.

I’ll be in line for an affordable Tesla.

The naysayers can get in line, or just fade away into the nothingosphere.

My point was not that Tesla or some other car company won’t build a $35K, 200 mile EV.

My point is that my kids’ smaller, poorer generation isn’t buying $35K cars.

Poorer maybe but smaller?

Apart from that, I think you’re right. Plus, the younger generations seem more interested in their smart phones than cars. I’ve seen study after study that says they’d give up their car before giving up their iDevice. I also suspect that the old myth of “freedom” and “independence” that the car weas supposed to evoke is no longer as effective because of ever increasing traffic congestion. That’s one thing EVs will NOT solve.

Yeah. You are right…not smaller. Turns out the birth RATE took off from 1945 to 1965. It dropped from 1965 to 1985. But because there were so many more boomers, the total number of births to boomers was double that of their parents generation…about 133 million vs 76 million boomers.

It’s called the echo boom.
A $35k car isn’t $35k when the price of fuel is 1/4 the alternative. It’s all about the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). If over the 12 year life of the car, you drive 15,000 miles, you will save $18,000 over paying an average of $3.50 per gallon. (over the next 12 years, that could be quite optimistic, its likely to be much higher) . That’s assuming an EV driver pasy the national average of $0.12 per kWh (if you have solar or have access to a cheap utility, you can pay substantially less – perhaps as low as $0.04 for super-off-peak overnight charging). With $10k total subsidies in California, $12k in Georgia that is a totally free car for about 9 of the available EVs. If you can’t make use of a $7.500 Federal income tax credit, an EV lease usually applies the credit as a “cap cost reduction” you get the whole credit up front. At a lease cost of $199 or less (nine EVs are available under $200/mo) EVs are totally free for anyone whose gas bill is $200/mo or more. (pay for a zero emission, near-zero maintenance car instead of paying for gas). An EV is… Read more »

I understand what you’re trying to say, but stop using sketchy math to make your point.

A $35k car is a $35k car, regardless of the fuel cost. You still need to come up with or finance $35k.

No car will EVER be “free”. At best, an EV is CHEAPER than the alternative, but cheaper does not equal free. I don’t “owe” the gas company $200/mo, so not paying that isn’t “free” money. It’s my money, I just get to spend it on something else.

Stick to TCO. This is what really matters. TCO will never be zero (i.e. FREE), but it can be much less for one car than another (CHEAPER).

Rather than playing games with numbers, and trying to “trick” someone into seeing things a certain way, we should be trying to educate people. People should think about TCO with any purchase. And it should be compared to the value that purchase provides (be it transportation, shelter, entertainment, or otherwise). This is how we progress as a society.

Warren said:

“My point was not that Tesla or some other car company won’t build a $35K, 200 mile EV.

My point is that my kids’ smaller, poorer generation isn’t buying $35K cars.”

Well, I think there is a point there worthy of discussion, but best if it’s separated from the “younger generation is poorer” meme.

Here’s the point: The ten best-selling cars in the USA — the richest country in the world — all have a base price between about $18k and $25k. So yes, no ordinary car with a base price of $35k-40k would fall into that “best seller” category.

But if Tesla Motors can deliver a Model ≡ which is as much better as other cars in that price range as the Model S is better than other cars in -its- price range, just how much demand would there be for that car?

Can the Model ≡ outsell every gas guzzler in its price range? Is there enough worldwide demand to sell half a million compelling, nominally 200 mile (which probably means ~175 real-world miles) plug-in EVs every year?

Well, obviously Tesla Motors is betting there is that much demand. Time will tell if they are right or not.

I was talking to a Tesla salesperson who told me that Tesla was building their own battery factory. He said this was because of supply problems with Panasonic.
This would make sense if they are planning to ramp up production. It would also be more profitable in the long run.