Electric cars, while great for those who love to live on the bleeding edge, aren't exactly sexy – unless we're talking about something that looks like this.
That's the Tesla Roadster, and we'd love to have one. It's electric and it screams. While other car makers are building more sensible and accessible electric cars (like the Chevy Volt), we still think that Tesla is great.
Panasonic thinks so too, as it has invested $30 million in Tesla. The investment was made through the purchase of Tesla common stock in a private placement at a price of $21.15 per share.
Tesla and Panasonic are no strangers to each other, as the carmaker currently uses electronics company's battery cells in its battery packs and are already working together on the development of next-generation battery cells designed specifically for electric vehicles.
"Panasonic aims to be the number one Green Innovation Company in the Electronics Industry by 2018, the 100th anniversary of our founding," said Naoto Noguchi, President of Energy Company, a unit of Panasonic responsible for the battery cell business. "Our sophisticated lithium-ion battery cell technology, combined with Tesla's market-leading EV powertrain technology, helps us fulfill this goal by promoting sustainable mobility. We are proud to strengthen our relationship with Tesla Motors."
"It is an honor and a powerful endorsement of our technology that Panasonic, the world's leading battery cell manufacturer, would choose to invest in and partner with Tesla," said Tesla CEO and cofounder, Elon Musk. "Panasonic offers the highest energy-density cells and industry-leading performance with cutting edge Nickel-type cathode technology. We believe our partnership with them will enable us to further improve our battery pack while reducing cost."
In addition to producing its own vehicles, Tesla also builds electric powertrains, including battery packs, for other automobile manufacturers. Panasonic and Tesla intend to explore joint marketing and sales of battery packs that would be designed and assembled by Tesla using Panasonic's battery cells.
Score one for tech and motor industry in seeing that teaming up is mutually beneficial.