Two major EV pioneers have announced another chapter in their partnership, an agreement under which Panasonic will supply Tesla Motors with lithium-ion battery cells for Tesla’s new Model S. Panasonic is a major investor in Tesla, and the two companies have worked closely together to develop an EV-optimized battery cell based on nickel-type cathode technology.
Tesla delivered a beta version of the Model S last week, and will begin selling the high-end electric sedan in 2012. Like its predecessor, the Model S represents a bold attempt to open a market that most people don’t associate with EVs. While the Roadster wowed aficionados of adrenalin, the Model S will offer respectability and luxury for the dark-suit crowd. Tesla plans to build 80,000 units over the next four years, and the latest agreement with Panasonic is a major step towards putting those cars on the road.
Announcing the new agreement, both companies showed their grasp of the most important challenges that an EV battery must meet – banishing “range anxiety” and impressing drivers with performance.
“Incorporating Panasonic’s next-generation cells into Model S batteries will ensure unrivaled range and performance,” said Tesla Co-Founder and CEO Elon Musk.
“Panasonic will supply lithium ion cells for EVs that can achieve longer range with large energy density,” commented Masato Ito of Panasonic.
Image: Jurvetson (Flickr)