Electronics giant Panasonic expects to see a profit from Tesla’s Model 3 batteries by the end of the year.
Panasonic began battery cell production for the mass-market electric vehicle at their $5 billion Gigafactory in Nevada, USA, in June.
So far costs have wiped out any profit, but financial chief Hirokazu Umeda says: “As production accelerates towards next year, we expect the business to contribute profit.”
Tesla plans to produce 500,000 vehicles next year, nearly six times its 2016 output. The Model 3 marks a turning point for Tesla as it transitions from a niche luxury car manufacturer to a mass producer.
At the same time, Japan’s Panasonic Corp is transforming from a consumer electronics business to a supplier of automotive batteries, advanced electronics auto parts and energy-saving home systems.
• Belgian group Umicore is investing €460 ($540) million to expand by over six times its production of nickel manganese cobalt cathode materials in readiness for rising demand in the electric vehicles market. Umicore chief financial officer Filip Platteeuw told Reuters the first additional production lines will be commissioned by the end of the year.