Panasonic to boost battery output at Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory by 10%

Panasonic Corp's logo is pictured at Panasonic Center in TokyoPanasonic Corp's logo is pictured at Panasonic Center in Tokyo, Japan, February 2, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/

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June 6 (Reuters) – Panasonic Holdings (6752.T) plans to expand production of electric vehicle batteries at a factory in Nevada jointly operated with Tesla (TSLA.O) by 10% within three years, a spokesperson for the Japanese company said on Tuesday.

The comments followed a Nikkei Asia report on Monday that said unit Panasonic Energy would install a 15th production line at Gigafactory Nevada.

Panasonic Energy announced the plan to increase the Nevada factory's production capacity by 10% by March 2026 at a business strategy meeting last week, a Panasonic Group spokesperson said, declining to comment further. Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.

Panasonic said last month it planned to build at least two new factories for the production of Tesla 4680 battery cells in North America by 2030. With that move, it seeks to boost its auto battery capacity to 200 gigawatt hours per year by March 2031, about four times its level at the end of this March.

At the time, Panasonic had not disclosed where in North America it would add the production capacity.

Tesla recently told Panasonic it would "buy as much as (Panasonic) can make", according to an executive at the Japanese manufacturer, the Nikkei report said.

Panasonic is running a pilot 4680 production line at its Wakayama factory in Japan, while Tesla is already producing the 4680 battery cells, which Musk has touted as being key to making cheaper and compelling electric cars.

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