SUMINOE, JAPAN, Thursday, April 22nd - Tesla officials today visited Panasonic's new Lithium-ion battery cell manufacturing facility in Suminoe, Japan. Panasonic Energy Company President Naoto Noguchi presented Tesla Chief Technology Officer JB Straubel with the first production Lithium-ion cells manufactured at the new facility.
The Suminoe factory will start producing 3.1Ah battery cells, the highest energy density cells available in the market. The facility will produce more than 300 million cells per year.
"These cutting-edge Panasonic batteries will combine with Tesla's battery pack technology to produce the highest-energy density EV battery packs in the world," said Straubel.
Yesterday, Tesla announced that for the first time Tesla Roadsters will be delivered to select customers in Japan.
Tesla has already delivered more than 1000 Roadsters to customers in North America and Europe. Tesla battery packs power the Roadster, the only highway-capable EV currently in mass production. Tesla is also in production of battery packs for the Daimler Smart EV's and in battery development programs with other vehicle and stationary customers. For next generation battery packs, Tesla and Panasonic continue to deepen their relationship to optimize EV cells initially announced in January.
Tesla's goal is to produce increasingly affordable cars to mainstream buyers – relentlessly driving down the cost of EVs. San Carlos, Calif.-based Tesla sells cars online and has delivered nearly 1000 Roadsters to customers in North America and Europe. Tesla has showrooms in California's Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, Boulder, South Florida, Chicago, London, Munich and Monaco. The Tesla Roadster is faster than many sports cars yet more efficient than a hybrid.