TOKYO -- Panasonic Corp. plans a big increase in lithium ion battery capacity next year, for both hybrid and electric vehicles, including the Tesla Model S sedan.
The company will add capacity at three sites in Japan:
1. Panasonic will add a fourth line at its Kasai plant in Hyogo prefecture, just west of Osaka. That factory makes prismatic lithium ion batteries for Toyota Motor Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Audi AG.
2. It will add a line at its Sominoe plant in Osaka, which makes cylindrical lithium ion batteries for Tesla Motors Inc. alongside batteries for personal computers.
3. It will begin cylindrical battery pro- duction for cars at its Kaizuka plant, also in Osaka.
The ramp-up comes amid complaints from Tesla CEO Elon Musk that bottlenecks in battery supply are limiting sales of the Model S.
Panasonic has been the sole battery supplier for the Model S, but Tesla is in talks with Samsung SDI of South Korea.