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Report: Tesla is working on R&D batteries to loosen bands with Panasonic



  A Tesla is charged.
Enlarge / A Tesla Motors Inc. Model S electric car sits connected to a charger inside a Tesla store in Munich, Germany, Monday, March 30, 2015.

According to a report from CNBC , Tesla is working on research and development of battery cells in a laboratory near the production plant in Fremont, California. Five anonymous current and former employees said R&D is focused on "design and prototyping advanced lithium ion batteries" as well as systems that can help the company produce high volume cells.

Currently, Tesla has a partnership with Panasonic to create the battery seals it uses in its cars and desktop batteries. That relationship extends to Tesla's Buffalo, NY-based solar panel factory, which Tesla also owns with Panasonic. But recently, the fraternity between the two companies looks thin.

In September of last year, a Panasonic director said the model 3 production bottleneck had been the speed Panasonic could produce battery cells. In October 201

8, Panasonic reported losing $ 65 million to the Tesla vehicle battery business. In April 2019, the Nikkei Asian Review reported that Panasonic would not make further investments in Teslas Gigafactory beyond what it had already committed to. Tesla's recent acquisition of Maxwell Technologies, which produces automotive and tool components, may also have driven a wedge between the companies.

Ars contacted Tesla for comment, but we have not received a reply.

Tesla is currently a factory in Shanghai, and it has not cooperated with Panasonic solely to supply battery companies to that location, but Panasonic or another major manufacturer of battery cells is likely to supply the Shanghai plant in the short term. At a recent shareholder meeting, Tesla, CEO Elon Musk, said that investors should take care of two things in the coming year: battery availability and full self-advancement. JB Straubel, Tesla's CTO, commented on the meeting: "It is clearer now than I think it ever was, we need a large-scale solution to cell production."

Musk said investors would be invited to a battery and fuel day host to the company before the end of 2019.


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