Panasonic agrees to supply EV batteries to Lucid Group

A logo of Panasonic Corp is pictured at the CEATEC JAPAN 2017 in Chiba
A logo of Panasonic Corp is pictured at the CEATEC JAPAN 2017 (Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies) at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan, October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo/File Photo

TOKYO, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) battery maker Panasonic Holdings (6752.T) on Tuesday said it had concluded an agreement to supply lithium-ion batteries to electric vehicle (EV) maker Lucid Group (LCID.O) as the Japanese company seeks to expand its customer.

"Partnerships with technology-leading EV manufacturers such as Lucid are critical to our mission," Kazuo Tadanobu, the head of Panasonic's energy business said in a press release.

Nearly all of Panasonic's automotive battery production currently goes to Tesla as the leading U.S. EV makers rapidly expands output. While Panasonic, which plans to build a new $4 billion battery plant in Kansas, is benefiting from that ballooning demand, officials at the Japanese company are also wary about relying to heavily on one customer.

Lucid will use Panasonic batteries in its long-range Lucid Air and its Gravity SUV, which will begin production in 2024, the company said.

In August Lucid halved its EV production forecast blaming extraordinary supply chain and logistics challenges. The company, which says it has 37,000 reservations, now expects to produce between 6,000 and 7,000 luxury electric vehicles this year.

Reporting by Tim Kelly

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