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Panasonic gets slice of 'leccy car maker

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Panasonic Corporation is paying $30m for a two per cent stake in electric car maker Tesla.

handshake for Tesla Panasonic deal

The deal deepens an existing relationship; Panasonic supplies the lithium-ion batteries upon which the Lotus-based car depends. But Tesla had also used batteries from other manufacturers and now Panasonic becomes preferred supplier.

Tesla CEO and co-founder Elon Musk said: "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."

Naoto Noguchi, president of Panasonic's energy division, said the deal would help achieve Panasonic's goal of becoming "number one Green Innovation Company by 2018".

As well as making its own cars based on Lotus bodies, Tesla also hopes to sell powertrains and battery packs to other 'leccy car makers. Tesla and Panasonic will look at joint sales and marketing activities around this business. ®

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