Tesla has declined to provide information on its current battery supplier for its Roadster model, but information on its battery supplier for the upcoming Model S sedan has reportedly been leaked. Japanese electronics company Panasonic will supply the battery for the Model S, according to a source close to Panasonic.
Currently, Tesla builds a Roadster model that uses lithium-ion laptop batteries wired together to create one big battery capable of propelling the Roadster for around 250 miles. No information on the battery supplier is known, other than that the company is Japanese. With its second model, the Model S, Tesla is sticking with the Japanese by choosing Panasonic.
It is unclear at this point if the Panasonic-supplied lithium-ion battery will once again consist of laptop batteries wired together, or if it will be a something different, such as a specific automotive battery pack. One thing is known: The battery going into the 230-mile and 300-mile range Model S sedans will use 8000 cells instead of the 6800 cells in the Roadster’s battery. To allow the same number of cells to power the Model S for 300 miles as well as 230 miles, the 300-mile range Model S uses better battery cells to avoid adding unnecessary weight. The Model S with a 160-mile range comes with a 5500 cell battery pack.
Tesla recently received a $365 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy to finance production of the Model S. The California-based company hopes to have the Model S in production by late 2011. When the vehicle goes on sale, it will start at $57,400 butwill beeligible for the $7500 federal tax rebate.
Source: Green Tech Media