Tesla’s chief executive offers has dismissed – to some extent – the recent rumours that Samsung would also supply batteries for the upcoming Model 3.
Reuters has recently reported that Samsung’s SDI division is engaged in some advanced talks with Tesla to supply batteries for the upcoming Model 3, as well as for automaker’s energy storage products. It was said that Samsung would step in if the electric maker would not be able to build enough batteries to support the high demand for its newly announced car. However, Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk wanted to reiterate the fact that the company was working exclusively with Panasonic for Model 3 cells, but without elaborating over a future strategy.
Panasonic and Tesla have become partners in 2014 to both invest in the automaker’s 5-billion-dollars Gigafactory plant outside of Reno, Nevada, a facility that has the capacity to make 35 gigawatt-hours of battery cells and 50 gigawatt-hours of battery packs per year. The Japanese firm said last month it 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 production if it was necessary.
Even if the consumer electronics giant is already a key supplier in the automotive industry, it plans to move its focus point from home electronics to automotive components even further. Panasonic aims to increase the income from the segment to over 60 percent by 2019 and it foresees that by then 21 percent of its global sales will be generated by the car business, translating to 2 trillion yen (18.2 billion dollars) in revenue.