On Tuesday, Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk announced that Tesla is open to licensing software and supplying powertrains and batteries.
The company has previously supplied batteries to Mercedes and Toyota Motor under separate partnership deals. Battery manufacturing is an area that analysts and industry officials say the US electric car maker has a competitive edge compared with legacy automakers.
Musk said in a message on Twitter that “Tesla is open to licensing software and supplying powertrains & batteries. We’re just trying to accelerate sustainable energy, not crush competitors!”
It was unclear which types of batteries it will supply. The company currently runs a battery joint venture with Panasonic and also sources batteries from China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) and South Korea’s LG Chem.
Tesla is also planning to build its own battery manufacturing facility at its Fremont, California, plant under its “roadrunner” project.
Park Chul-wan, a South Korean battery expert and a professor at Seojeong University said that “The supply could lower the entry barriers for startup EV makers, posing a potential threat to legacy automakers, which have their own platforms. The strategy, if successful, will increase the EV market’s dependence on Tesla.”
Musk said in a recent earnings conference call that the real limitation to Tesla’s growth is battery cell production at an affordable price, and said the company would expand its business with Panasonic, CATL, and LG Chem.
In 2014, Musk also said Tesla would allow others to use its patents in hopes of speeding up the development of electric cars by all manufacturers.