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Panasonic Invests $30M In Tesla Motors

11/04/2010 09:28:39 AM Eastern

Secaucus, N.J. -
Panasonic has invested $30 million in Tesla Motors, building upon a multi-year
collaboration of the two companies to accelerate the market expansion of the
electric vehicle, the companies said.

The investment was made through the purchase of Tesla common
stock in a private placement at a price of $21.15 per share.

Panasonic is a major battery cell manufacturer and a
supplier to the global automotive industry. Tesla currently uses Panasonic
battery cells in its advanced battery packs and has collaborated with Panasonic
on the development of next-generation battery cells designed specifically for
electric vehicles.

While Tesla's current battery strategy incorporates
proprietary packaging using cells from multiple battery suppliers, Tesla has
selected Panasonic as its preferred lithium-ion battery cell supplier for its
battery packs, the CE manufacturer said.

"Panasonic aims to be the No. 1 Green Innovation Company in
the Electronics Industry by 2018, the 100th anniversary of our founding," said
Naoto Noguchi, president of energy company, a unit of Panasonic responsible for
the battery cell business. "Our sophisticated lithium-ion battery cell
technology, combined with Tesla's market-leading EV powertrain technology,
helps us fulfill this goal by promoting sustainable mobility. We are proud to
strengthen our relationship with Tesla Motors."

In the same statement, Elon Musk, Tesla CEO and co-founder,
said, "It is an honor and a powerful endorsement of our technology that
Panasonic, the world's leading battery cell manufacturer, would choose to
invest in and partner with Tesla. Panasonic offers the highest energy-density
cells and industry-leading performance with cutting-edge nickel-type cathode
technology. We believe our partnership with them will enable us to further
improve our battery pack while reducing cost."

In addition to producing its own vehicles, Tesla also builds
electric powertrains, including battery packs, for other automobile
manufacturers. Panasonic and Tesla intend to explore joint marketing and sales
of battery packs that would be designed and assembled by Tesla using
Panasonic's battery cells.

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