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Interview

Panasonic moves toward mass production of Tesla's next-gen batteries

New battery chief won't rule out working with other EV players

Kazuo Tadanobu, CEO of Panasonic's in-house energy company, holds the new 4680 battery cell next to the current 2170.   © Reuters

OSAKA -- Panasonic is technologically almost ready to start commercializing the cheaper, higher-capacity battery cells Tesla unveiled last year, the head of the Japanese industrial giant's newly consolidated battery division told Nikkei.

October saw Panasonic bring all of its battery-related operations under a new in-house energy company with Kazuo Tadanobu as its CEO. In a recent interview, Tadanobu discussed its partnership with Tesla and the possibility of working with other electric-vehicle companies, as well as plans for the energy company.

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