Panasonic Expects Increased Tesla Profits in 2021, Boosts Outlook

Panasonic is planning to make cobalt-free batteries for Tesla’s electric vehicles within the next two or three years. Photo: Nikkei Asia

Panasonic has been collaborating with Tesla almost since the electric vehicle (EV) company’s inception, but both companies are just starting to see this labor come to fruition.

On Tuesday, Panasonic said it was expecting battery supply profits from its partnership with Tesla to be profitable in 2021, increasing its full-year operating profit forecast by more than one half of its value, according to Reuters.

The decade-long collaboration between Tesla and Panasonic has seen a number of faces, with Panasonic even having developed many of Tesla’s production lines for them. In addition, Panasonic helped the company to develop and build Tesla’s 4680 battery cells, which are expected to revolutionize the EV battery industry.

The new 4680 battery cell will, according to Tesla’s Battery Day event last year, increase battery production 100 times over by 2030, and cut battery production costs in half, effectively increasing yield and profits and driving down consumer EV prices significantly.

Panasonic’s new operating forecast, which accounts for the previous year through the end of March, is 230 billion yen ($2.2 billion USD), up from its prior forecast of 150 billion yen ($1.4 billion USD) – and both of which are still 22% below the prior year.

Production tests on Panasonic’s new 4680 battery cell line for Tesla are expected to start in April, to mark the beginning of the new financial year.