According to the Nikkei business daily, Tesla Motors’ proposed battery factory would see an initial investment from its main supplier – Panasonic Corporation – of 20 billion to 30 billion yen ($200-300 million).
The Nikkei added that the basic deal between Panasonic and the California-based electric automaker covers the Japanese company’s initial supply of machinery to build the lithium-ion battery cells.
Reuters later reached its own sources and was able to corroborate the story, as one source close to the matter confirmed the initial plans to invest in the yet to be built battery facility. The agreement – although unconfirmed by neither Panasonic nor Tesla officials – should become official as soon as this week’s end. Both companies are to report quarterly earnings on Thursday.
The person also confirmed earlier speculations that the final investment from Panasonic – which back in May expressed interest to become the exclusive battery cell maker at the manufacturing facility – would be of around $1 billion. Tesla said the total investment in what should become the world’s largest battery plant is of $5 billion.
Tesla has currently narrowed down the search for the proposed “Gigafactory” to three locations in the US, ultimately aiming to produce more battery cells by 2020 than were made globally last year.