U.S. electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors and the Japanese Panasonic Corporation agreed to build the world’s largest battery manufacturing plant.
According to a deal signed Thursday, the plant - known as Gigafactory - will be built in the U.S. and managed by Tesla, while Panasonic will supply equipment for the mass production of lithium-ion cells. The finished products will be used in electric cars manufactured by Tesla Motors and for stationary storage of energy.
In Tesla’s view, the high price of batteries prevents electric cars from advancing to the mass market.
The company hopes it will be able to lower the cost of long-range battery packs by optimizing the manufacturing process and locating all aspects of production at one site.
Tesla says Gigafactory may employ as many as 6,500 people by 2020.