Quick update on what’s going on w/ Pana.
Nothing specific to #Tesla, especially short-term. Just something to keep in mind long-term.
One of their major concern, i.e. uncertainty re: battery business in China seems to have lessened.
China has loosened restrictions on foreign battery makers, and Toyota has committed to using Pana batteries for their BEVs in China.
Remember that Toyota was rather reluctant jump into the long-range BEV market? They have a dominant position in HEVs, so it makes no economical or ecological sense to do so.
Toyota was essentially forced into making BEVs early by China. Look at their new Chinese BEV SUV. It's made by GAC using CATL battery. Selling OEM vehicles is something they rarely do.
Their real (i.e. planned) BEV entry will be C-HR in 2020. They likely will use CATL battery until Pana's production capacity catches up. Good news for Pana, not so much for Toyota.
OT, C-HR is what RAV4 is outside NA. Small SUV that's selling well in Europe (~120k/yr) & Japan (~80K/yr, likely beating out Honda HR-V for best-selling SUV in 2018). ~50k/yr in US.
Pana's Chinese battery factories are expected to supply EV batteries for Toyota, Honda, & possibly Nissan. Toyota & Honda combined sells ~3 mil cars in China.
Given the new Chinese NEV regulation requires 10-12% of them to be PHEV/BEV in the next couple of years, that's batteries for ~300k cars. It's a huge business for Pana.
In sum, Pana's auto battery business will likely grow substantially in the next few years, regardless of what happens to Tesla. That means Tesla's "I'm gonna blow myself up if you don't help me" tactics will be less & less effective.
Here is a very good article w/ tons of details. It’s unfortunately in Japanese, but trying to read it w/ Google Translate may be worth it.
As much as BEVs get the attention, most auto co's will need to depend on HEV/PHEV for meeting fuel efficiency targets for the next 20 yrs.
Pana is in good shape here w/ Primearth EV Energy, a JV w/ Toyota set to benefit not only from Toyota’s own sales, but also from Toyota’s partnerships & licensing deals w/ many other auto co’s.
This will be the case esp. in developing countries. For example, Suzuki, which has a huge market share in India, is currently focused on simple mild-HEVs using SCiB batteries. Makes perfect sense cost-wise.
All in all, Pana’s automotive battery business seems to be in much better shape w/ more certainty. Which may not be all that good for Tesla.
Forgot to mention that it's already happening. Suzuki, Denso (auto parts giant, inventor of Prius hybrid unit, & a key part of Toyota group) & Toshiba (who makes SCiB batteries) are setting up a battery factory in India.