With Tesla increasingly being seen as a technology company rather than an auto company, it is surprising that the company has stayed away from improving on the efficiency of electric batteries, choosing to outsource its battery requirements to Panasonic. Nonetheless, outsourcing batteries has been a norm within the electric vehicle segment. For instance, Daimler gets its batteries from Chinese supplier CATL, while Samsung supplies batteries to the Volvo Group.
But as relations have soured with Panasonic, there have been multiple reports of Tesla mulling the manufacturing of its own batteries, with Musk hinting at that during the company’s shareholders meeting last July.
A few months before this meeting, Tesla had acquired California-based supercapacitor maker Maxwell for $288 million, which will help bolster its efforts toward developing battery technology in house. In October, Tesla acquired Canadian battery manufacturer Hibar Systems, further reinforcing its bid to manufacture its own batteries.