OSAKA – Panasonic Corp. is considering setting up a plant with Tesla Motors Inc. in the United States to make lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles, sources said Wednesday.
The electronics maker is mulling asking Japanese materials makers to set up bases at the new plant to create integrated production of batteries, the sources said. Investment in the plant is expected to be around ¥100 billion, with the prospect of starting operation in 2017, they said.
In addition to Tesla Motors, Panasonic is considering supplying batteries to Toyota Motor Corp., which has a business alliance with Tesla, the sources said.
Panasonic has targeted sales of ¥2 trillion in auto-related operations in fiscal 2018.
The company plans to actively invest in batteries for electric vehicles, foreseeing growing demand as overseas automakers such as BMW and Volkswagen of Germany jump on the EV bandwagon in addition to Japanese automakers Nissan Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp.
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