(NEW YORK) — Electric-car maker Tesla Motors and Panasonic, the Japanese-owned electronics firm, have signed an agreement to build a giant battery manufacturing facility in the U.S.
The “Gigafactory,” as it is known, would help Tesla become a mass manufacturer of electric cars.
Per the agreement, Tesla will prepare, provide and manage the facility while Panasonic manufactures and supplies cylindrical lithium-ion cells.
“[T]he Gigafactory represents a fundamental change in the way large scale battery production can be realized,” JB Straubel, chief technical officer and co-founder of Tesla, said in a joint statement Thursday.
Panasonic’s executive vice president, Yoshihiko Yamada, added: “Panasonic’s lithium-ion battery cells combine the required features for electric vehicles such as high capacity, durability and cost performance. And I believe that once we are able to manufacture lithium-ion battery cells at the Gigafactory, we will be able to accelerate the expansion of the electric vehicle market.”
Tesla projects the plant will employ approximately 6,500 people by 2020.
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