Tesla has powered its electric cars using Panasonic’s battery cells for years, but it may ready for a greater degree of independence going forward.
It still needs its partner in the short term, and Panasonic’s capacity might be crucial as Tesla expands its reach.
Moreover, it might provide a failsafe in case the relationship between Tesla and Panasonic goes south.
Panasonic might just want to have a backup plan in case it’s no longer the center of Tesla’s universe.
Employees talking to CNBC claim that Tesla is developing its own "advanced" lithium-ion battery cells as well as the processes to manufacture them at scale.
Internally-designed cells could ensure that Tesla isn’t held back and, as technology VP Drew Baglino put it, make the company the "masters of our own destiny".
In-house cells would let Tesla optimize its battery packs for its cars, whether it’s longer range, more acceleration or better sustained performance.