Panasonic takes cautious approach with Tesla as EV market proves a boon for one ASX listed company

By Jonathan Jackson. Published at Apr 15, 2019, in Features

Just as Tesla begins to lease out its Model 3 sedan in the US, in a financing option that would increase its customer base, comes news that both Tesla and Panasonic had frozen previous plans to raise the capacity of the electric vehicle manufacturer’s Gigafactory.

The Gigafactory supplies battery packs for Tesla cars and Panasonic is the exclusive battery cell supplier for Tesla, which in turn is Panasonic's biggest electric vehicle battery client.

"Both Tesla and Panasonic continue to invest substantial funds into the Gigafactory," a Tesla spokesperson said.

"That said, we believe there is far more output to be gained from improving existing production equipment than was previously estimated."

Together, companies have invested US$4.5 billion in the facility and according to Reuters had been planning to expand the plant's capacity to the equivalent of 54 gigawatt hours (GWh) a year in 2020 from 35 GWh at present.

Investment in the Gigafactory will continue as needed, but the companies believe they can squeeze more out of existing resources than previously planned.

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