The Japanese electronics giant said it forecasted a strong demand for its electric-car batteries in the next three years, a trend that would more than double its sales.
Demand for electric-car batteries are increasingly growing on a global scale with more and more automakers pushing to heavily extend their “green” lineups, an outcome most welcomed by suppliers. Panasonic is already an important player in the automotive industry, providing energy for hybrid and electric vehicles.
The electronics company now expects its annual EV battery sales to rise to 400 billion yen – nearly 4 billion dollars – in the fiscal year through March 2019 from 180 billion yen (1.79 billion dollars) in the year ended March 2016, according to Kenji Tamura – an executive officer of Panasonic’s automotive and industrial systems business – citied by Reuters. Tesla plays a big role in Panasonic’s projected growth trend. The companies have become partners in 2014 to jointly invest in the automaker’s 5-billion-dollars Gigafactory plant outside of Reno, Nevada.
Tamura also reiterated that the Japanese firm was ready to put in 1.6 billion dollars into Tesla’s facility in phases over the next few years, in order to boost the output if it was necessary. Panasonic is the exclusive supplier of batteries for Model 3, a car that made Elon Musk predict a total vehicle production of 500,000 cars in 2018, two years earlier than its original target.
There are also other prospective clients out there, much bigger than Tesla, to be drawn. Bloomberg recently reported that Volkswagen is looking for a partnership with an electric-car battery supplier, as Europe’s biggest automaker targets to sell 2-3 million green cars by 2025.