The unprecedented demand for the upcoming Model 3 presents major opportunities not only for Tesla, but for its partners. Panasonic, which will be the exclusive supplier of batteries for Model 3, expects its annual sales of automotive batteries to more than double in three years.
Kenji Tamura, the head of Panasonic’s automotive and industrial systems business, told Reuters that he expects annual battery sales to increase from 180 billion yen to 400 billion yen ($3.98 billion) by March 2019. Stationary storage products should add another 100 billion yen.
Tamura also said that Panasonic will accelerate its plans to invest $1.6 billion in Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada. Elon Musk said in April that Tesla hopes to boost production to 500,000 cars in 2018, two years earlier than its original target.