Panasonic Abandons Plasma Display Production; Continues Battery Deal

Panasonic Abandons Plasma Display ProductionPanasonic has announced plans to end its plasma display panels production. The Japanese electronics maker is set to shut down facilities for manufacturing those products by next month. The move does not come as a surprise as the television market continues to be dominated by popular LCD displays.

The company has started producing plasma televisions in 2000. However, it has been trying to survive the domination of LCD for television production. The economic crisis that particularly hit Japan in 2008 also contributed to the financial difficulties of the operations. No wonder, the business has become unsustainable.

Deal with Tesla

At the same time, Panasonic has announced good news. It has decided to continue partnership with Tesla Motors. Its deal to produce batteries for electric cars would require it to supply enhanced lithium ion batteries particularly for electric vehicles produced by the company owned by billionaire Elon Musk.

The deal would be necessary for Tesla and its future plans especially the production of present and future cars. The car manufacturer is set to launch in the future the Model S and Model X vehicles.

Panasonic has been supplying Tesla with batteries since 2011. Since then, it has already supplied 200 million cells. Now, it is set to raise the quota to about two billion cells until 2017. Despite the increase, the company still reaches out to its new partners for added battery supply. There are speculations that it is in talks with other suppliers like Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics for that purpose. A potential deal with those other firms is not expected to affect the deal between Tesla and Panasonic.

Battery charging stations

The announcement came on the same date that Tesla inaugurated the West Coast Supercharger Corridor. It is a network of vehicle-charging stations allowing drivers to freely travel from San Diego, California to Vancouver, British Columbia and vice versa.

Those charging stations are strategically located along Interstate 5 and US Highway 101. That puts over 99% of Californians and about 87% of car owners in Washington and Oregon within its 200-mile Supercharger.

It was just last May when Tesla announced plans to open a number of fast-charging network stations across the US and Canada. Back then, it planned to do the initiative by the end of June. Within a year from then, it plans to interconnect all stations in North America.

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About the author

Drew is a regular contributor covering trending topics.