Japanese electronic giant Panasonic Corp. has been an investor in the $5B Tesla Gigafactory project from the beginning and also the exclusive supplier to the 18650 style cylindrical lithium ion batteries used in the Roadster, Model S and Model X.
However Tesla confirmed Wednesday that it has entered into a new contract that would allow South Korean battery maker LG Chem Ltd. to produce the battery for its upcoming Tesla Roadster 3.0 upgrade. The $29,000 upgrade is said to increase total range on the Roadster by 35% through a 40% increase in energy storage.
LG Chem currently supplies batteries to General Motors for its Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, but also the upcoming battery electric Chevrolet Bolt, which is rumored to have over 200 miles in range and at a price point below $35,000.
Does this new relationship with LG Chem signal a change in Tesla’s partnership with Panasonic? Is this Tesla’s way of telling Panasonic to sharpen its pencil when it comes to pricing or is this just a temporary measure to tide Tesla over until full production at the Gigafactory begins?
Tesla Roadster 3.0 Battery Upgrade