Panasonic Corp. purchased a small stake in Tesla Motors Inc. and has plans for the joint development of electric-vehicle batteries, according to a report from the Nikkei business daily. The Japanese electronics maker had inked a deal in January to provide lithium ion batteries for Tesla's electric cars.
Panasonic is hoping to work with Tesla to develop battery systems for next-generation electric vehicles. According to the manufacturer, Panasonic purchased Tesla common stock in a private placement at a price of $21.15 per share.
The investment builds upon a multi-year collaboration of the two companies to accelerate the market expansion of the electric vehicle.
The Nikkei said that Panasonic and Tesla are expected to efficiently develop technologies for using lithium ion battery systems since Tesla's electric cars are equipped with several thousand cylindrical-shaped lithium ion batteries.
“Panasonic aims to be the number one Green Innovation Company in the Electronics Industry by 2018, the 100th anniversary of our founding,” said Naoto Noguchi, President of Energy Company, a unit of Panasonic responsible for the battery cell business. “Our sophisticated lithium-ion battery cell technology, combined with Tesla’s market-leading EV powertrain technology, helps us fulfill this goal by promoting sustainable mobility. We are proud to strengthen our relationship with Tesla Motors.”