Tesla Motors Inc Drives Its Model S Into Japan

By Mani
Updated on

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has handed over its first electric-powered Model S cars to customers in Japan today, with one of the first nine model S vehicles delivered to Panasonic’s executive vice president.

Tesla’s Elon Musk said the batteries for all the firm’s vehicles are made in Japan.

Heart of Tesla Model S is Japanese

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s chief executive Musk said: “An important point that I should emphasize about the Model S is that the batteries are all made in Japan”. Since the battery is the “heart” of an electric car, he said: “The heart of Model S is Japanese. I think that’s a pretty cool thing”.

The electric-powered Model S is priced from ¥8.23 million (about $78,000). Musk said Model S owners would be able to charge their cars free at Tesla-built power stations “forever”. The first “supercharger” station was built in Roppongi.

The company’s service center at Yokohama offers four superchargers. Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s spokesperson said the company plans to build a larger Supercharger network in Japan. Such a move will be critical for the car maker to make its electric vehicles a viable alternative to the current swath of gas-guzzling road warriors.

Panasonic to contribute 30-40% of gigafactory

As reported earlier, back in October, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) entered into an agreement with Panasonic Corporation (NYSE:PC) (TYO:6752) for the supply of battery cells for its electric vehicles, which may eventually earn the electronic giant up to $7 billion in revenue. As part of the agreement, Panasonic will supply two billion lithium-ion batteries used in electric cars to the Palo Alto-based company over the next four years through 2017.

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has plans to build a gigafactory for lithium-ion batteries, which is expected to be operational by 2017. The Li-on battery will help the electric vehicle maker to reduce the price of its vehicles.

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s CEO reiterated Monday that he anticipates Panasonic to contribute between 30% and 40% of the gigafactory, and that his own company would pay for the half.

Interestingly, Elon Musk also said his company may partner with Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM) again in the future. His comments acquire significance as the two carmakers wind down sales of the jointly developed RAV4 EV after delivering only about 2,000 units since it went on sale two years ago.

The world of renewable fuels is dealing with an ongoing battle between the charge-batteries and fuel cells. Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s CEO called them ‘fool cells’ at the annual meeting of the company in May. Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe earlier announced that he has designed an overall growth plan for the country and as part of it the fuel-cell vehicle industry will get additional support from the administration.

However, during today’s launch ceremony in Japan, Musk said there was some value in experimenting with other technologies.

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