Tesla and Panasonic have proven to be quite the power couple. The Japanese electronics manufacturer is Tesla’s sole battery supplier, powering the Model 3, S, and X. On Friday, Elon Musk said on Twitter that the partnership is currently responsible for approximately 60 percent of the world’s electric vehicle battery output.
He tweeted the figure in response to a Teslarati article summarizing Tesla’s highly successful third-quarter earnings call, which revealed the company beat earnings estimates with $6.8 billion in revenue. Musk took a victory lap by touting that his company isn’t only making money, it’s also turning into the dominant battery player in the industry.
“Very much appreciate extreme hard work it took to achieve this result,” he wrote in the tweet. “Together with Pana Japan cell plants, Tesla/Pana partnership is producing ~60% of global EV battery output!”
Panasonic has invested more than $1 billion in Tesla’s partially-operational battery factory — the Gigafactory 1 in Nevada — with the goal augmenting the facility’s production capacity. Panasonic’s Executive VP, Yoshio Ito stated in June that there was some concern that it could not keep up with Tesla’s “sharp improvement in production.” But Kazuhiro Tsuga, the company’s president put those concerns to rest and stated the company was cranking out batteries like clockwork.
“We are finally at a place where we can move in lock-step with Tesla and make as many batteries as they make cars,” he recently told Bloomberg. “It’s a relief, because they went through hell this September. And so did we.”
This is a crucial step in getting the 5.8 million square foot Gigafactory to be fully functional, a milestone that is expected to happen sometime in 2020.
With Tesla’s Model 3 production hitting its stride, ensuring its only battery supplier can keep up with demand will be key to delivering on a widely accessible electric car. Both companies seem to be keeping pace and propelling the EV market while they’re at it.