Tesla will continue buying batteries from longtime supplier Panasonic until at least 2022 despite the EV maker’s plans to produce its own cheaper alternative, a media report said.
According to Nikkei Asia, Tesla revealed it had signed a new pricing agreement with Panasonic for lithium-ion batteries. However, it did not specify whether this involves the 4680 battery cell, a more cost efficient unit that Tesla unveiled in September last year, which the company said would significantly reduce the cost of electric vehicles.
Nikkei Asia previously reported Panasonic would begin producing prototypes of the 4680 for Tesla as early as 2021. Though the US EV maker plans to make the new cell itself, battery industry watchers said Panasonic would seek to take on some of the manufacturing, as it was unlikely the automaker would be able to handle production entirely on its own.
In response to a Nikkei request for comment, Panasonic said it “does not comment on the details of contracts.”