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Panasonic, Tesla to set up auto battery plant in US

Tesla's Model S combines luxury with sports car performance.

TOKYO -- Panasonic and California-based electric-vehicle startup Tesla Motors are in talks to build an automotive battery plant in the U.S., aiming to lower manufacturing costs via mass production.

     Targeted to go onstream in 2017, the lithium-ion-battery facility will handle everything from processing raw materials to assembly. Panasonic is inviting a number of Japanese materials makers to sign on, with total investment expected to reach more than 100 billion yen ($965 million).

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