Panasonic, Tesla to tag-team in $1bn US plant investment

According to reports, the two firms will invest close to $1 billion in to a battery manufacturing plant in the United States.

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 07.47.03
Credit: Tesla

Tesla Motors, Panasonic and other firms are planning to invest $965 million in the construction of a lithium-ion battery plant.

According to a report from Japanese publication Nikkei, the U.S.-based plant has a live date of 2017, and the factory will handle "everything from processing raw materials to assembly."

Panasonic, an investor in Tesla Motors, is inviting number of Japanese materials makers to sign on, and total investment is expected to top 100 billion yen ($965 million), according to the publication.

The batteries that will be manufactured at this plant will be designed for electric vehicles. The batteries will be small and lightweight, and Tesla hopes to bring down the price of EVs to our traditional fossil fuel cars through the construction of the plant.

Tesla's cheapest EV, the Model S, sells in the U.S. for roughly $70,000.

Nikkei said that the plant will supply Tesla with batteries, but may also supply Toyota and other automakers. "Home use" storage battery manufacture is also being considered to boost production numbers.

While Tesla hopes to boost EV sales this year to 35,000, helped in part by the Model S, Panasonic is moving towards the automotive industry in a bid to improve financial losses caused by sluggish display and television sales.