Panasonic shutters Beijing battery factory to focus on high-end market

Panasonic Li-ion 18650 (ChargedEVs) 2

Battery behemoth Panasonic has announced that it will stop making lithium-ion batteries at its factory in Beijing, eliminating 1,300 jobs.

A sign of waning demand for EVs? Nope, just the opposite. The 15-year-old plant produces batteries for mobile phones and digital cameras, and Panasonic plans to move away from these products (which are steadily being superseded by smartphones), in favor of higher-margin markets such as automotive batteries.

Reuters reports that Panasonic is restructuring to focus on EV batteries and home energy storage systems rather than consumer electronics. In June, the Japanese giant said it would invest about half a billion dollars in the coming fiscal year in its automotive battery business.

Panasonic is a partner in Tesla’s $5 billion Gigafactory, and is expected to pony up 30 to 40 percent of the cost of the enormous Nevada plant.

 

Source: Reuters

  • brian_gilbert

    Why shut the Beijing factory? Surely there will be enough Chinese demand for car batteries to justify it.

  • TCTopcat

    the older battery types are maybe a good start for consumer products that use energy wisely? aren’t the current Teslas vehicles run with multiple small batteries connected together?

  • Mark Benjamin David

    No one reads the article before commenting? The 15 YEAR OLD plant they are closing makes batteries for mobile phones and digital cameras. Surely this is a good move toward putting efforts forward for newer batteries that are better designed for electric cars. Keep in mind Panasonic has already invested heavily in Tesla’s Gigafactory, it is a joint effort. Don’t think they will be making the type of battery cells you find in Tesla’s current vehicles, these will be more advanced for the next generation Tesla Model 3.