Panasonic Corp. said Thursday it had invested $30 million for a two percent equity stake in the American maker of electric sports cars Tesla Motors.
Panasonic made the investment through a private placement of common stock priced at $21.15 per share, the companies said on Thursday.
Tesla has selected Panasonic as its preferred lithium-ion battery cell supplier for its battery packs among a network of various suppliers to the US carmaker, the companies said.
Back in January, Tesla and Panasonic first announced plans to work together to develop lithium-ion battery cells for electric vehicles, and for Panasonic’s cells to be used for Tesla’s current and next-generation EV battery pack. In April this year, Panasonic has delivered first lithium-ion battery packs s to Tesla.
Tesla has also secured investment from Toyota and Daimler. Toyota invested $50 million in Tesla following its IPO, and the companies are working on an electric version of the Toyota RAV4 with a Tesla powertrain for 2012. Meanwhile, Daimler invested $50 million (before selling off 40 percent of its stake) in Tesla and is using its battery packs in for Smart Fortwo electric cars.