SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk gestures during a conversation at the E3 gaming convention in Los Angeles, June 13, 2019.
Mike Blake | Reuters
Tesla is developing the means to manufacture its own battery cells, according to five current and recent employees, something that the electric vehicle maker has relied on Panasonic to do since the companies signed an extensive partnership deal in 2014.
The move could help Tesla offer cheaper, higher-performance electric vehicles than it does today, without having to pay or share data and resources with outside vendors or partners. The battery pack and battery cells are the main cost component in an electric vehicle, according to research by IHS Markit.
The company has been “battery-constrained” in the past, CEO Elon Musk acknowledged at the company’s annual shareholders meeting earlier in June. That means a lack of batteries limited Tesla’s production and sales of electric vehicles and energy storage systems (Powerwalls and…