Panasonic May Add $7 Billion Sales From Tesla New Cell Contract

Panasonic Corp., the biggest supplier of lithium-ion batteries used in electric cars, won a new contract to supply cells to Tesla Motors Inc.’s Model S and Model X in a deal that may generate $7 billion in revenue.

Panasonic will supply 2 billion lithium-ion battery cells to the Palo Alto, California-based automaker in the four years through 2017, the Osaka-based company said in a statement today. That compares with about 200 million units shipped for Tesla in the past two years, according to Chieko Gyobu, a Panasonic spokeswoman.

President Kazuhiro Tsuga is trying to boost Panasonic’s earnings from business-use products amid slowing demand for its Viera TVs and Eluga handsets. The contract may add about $7 billion sales and cement Panasonic’s position as the largest supplier for electric cars, said Ali Izadi-Najafabadi, a Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst.

Tesla, led by billionaire Elon Musk, plans to sell 21,000 Model S sedans this year, priced from $70,000 to more than $100,000. The Model X sport-utility vehicle are set to be offered in late 2014.

Panasonic’s Gyobu declined to comment on battery revenue from Tesla.

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