(Reuters) - Panasonic Corp will supply the lithium-ion battery cells for the first sedan made by Tesla Motors, the companies said on Tuesday.
Panasonic is to supply enough cells for 80,000 Tesla Model S vehicles over the next four years, including meeting Tesla’s need for 6,000 preorders in 2012, the companies said.
“This supply agreement helps ensure Tesla will meet its costs and margin targets for Model S,” said a statement from Panasonic and Tesla.
Panasonic has supplied Tesla with battery cells since 2009, when Tesla produced only the Roadster, which has a price tag ranging from $109,000 to more than $140,000. The Model S sedan base model will be priced at $57,400, before a $7,500 federal tax credit and other incentives.
About two weeks ago, Tesla showed off a production prototype of the Model S to customers who reserved the vehicle in advance.
In 2010, Panasonic invested $30 million in Tesla to “deepen the partnership and foster the growth of the electric vehicle industry,” the joint statement said. Also in 2010, Toyota said it would take a $50 million stake in Tesla.
Tesla co-founder and Chief Executive Elon Musk said Panasonic’s participation was an “endorsement of our technology.”
Tesla supplies powertrains and batteries to Toyota Motor Corp and to Daimler AG.