Tesla Gigafactory Nearing Green Light, Panasonic Joins In With Money & Tech

Although it's still a mystery where Tesla will build its Gigafactory, we know that it will be somewhere in the United States and that Panasonic will chip in $1 billion worth of battery manufacturing solutions and state-of-the-art assembly machinery.
Tesla Model S Assembly Line 1 photo
Photo: Tesla
Nikkei Asian Review announces that Panasonic has agreed with Tesla Motors to shoulder a fifth of the $5 billion Gigafactory total investment, with 20 to 30 billion yen (roughly $194 to $291 million) to be offered in the first stage of development by the Japanese electronics producer, which is also the world's fourth-largest television manufacturer.

Expected to be located in the Western region of the United States, the gargantuan facility will specialize in making lithium-ion cell battery packs. According to a contract negotiated between Panasonic and Tesla Motors in October 2013, Panasonic will supply the Palo Alto-based electric vehicle manufacturer with 2 billion cells between 2014 and 2017, cells that will provide zap to the Model S luxury sedan, Model X crossover and the Model III compact sedan.

With the Gigafactory expected to start operations at the end of 2017, capacity at the yet-to-be-built facility will be added in several stages until the plant will be able to produce enough batteries to equip 500,000 EVs per year. Tesla Motors will be spending some $4 billion on the land, construction materials, workforce and other massive costs to make the Gigafactory happen in a few years' time.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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