Tesla recently acquired Canadian battery manufacturer Hibar Systems Ltd. as the company has been rumored to have increased its efforts to produce in-house battery systems for its all-electric vehicles.
The acquisition of Hibar happened under-the-radar sometime between July and October 2019. The Silicon Valley-based car manufacturer has listed Hibar as a subsidiary with direct interest according to an October 2, 2019 filing with the Government of Canada, according to Electric Autonomy Canada.
Tesla has been rumored to be ramping up its efforts to begin producing its own lithium-ion batteries. The company has worked in close conjunction with Dalhousie University Professor of Physics Jeff Dahn, who has been somewhat of a consultant for the company in terms of battery production. CEO Elon Musk recently stated that he dreams of producing a million-mile battery, and Dahn’s team of researchers confirmed that the scenario is feasible after writing a paper that confirmed the idea is attainable.
Tesla’s purchase of Maxwell Technologies, a California-based producer of ultracapacitors and batteries, in May 2019 shows the company is taking the necessary steps to work toward its own batteries. Tesla has depended on Panasonic for battery cells since 2014, but that appears to be coming to an end, especially with the merger between Tesla and Hibar.
After Tesla’s purchase of Hibar, the Ontario, Canada-based battery producer deleted its website. However, the company’s site did state that it is “truly unique in its capability to provide the world’s leading manufacturers with innovative advanced automation solutions that are engineered specifically to suit their production automation requirements.“
While Hibar is not necessarily a household name in its home country, it has gained traction as a major player in the world of battery-production. Hibar turned its sights on producing a high-efficiency lithium-ion manufacturing system that would help with the speed of producing battery cells. The project subsequently gained notoriety, as they were given a $2 million grant by the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program in April 2019.
Hibar, while relatively small, is an international company. They currently have offices in Europe and Asia, and Hibar China is extremely well-known for its work, as the Chinese markets produced more than half of the company’s revenue in 2014. Tesla’s new Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai could be working in close conjunction with Hibar China, especially after the rumored merger.