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Coronavirus

Panasonic to suspend operations at EV battery plant for Tesla in US

Production at Gigafactory 1 to halt for 14 days after March 23 amid COVID-19 crisis

Panasonic declined to comment on the impact of the suspension on its battery production.    © Reuters

TOKYO -- Panasonic will suspend operations of its electric vehicle battery plant in the U.S. that supplies EV maker Tesla in response to the new coronavirus outbreak.

The Nevada plant, known as Gigafactory 1, will close for 14 days after March 23. Tesla has already decided to suspend its assembly plant for finished vehicles in California.

Gigafactory 1 is jointly operated by Panasonic and Tesla. Panasonic produces the core cells, which Tesla turns into batteries. The batteries are ultimately installed in Tesla's flagship Model 3 at its California plant.

Panasonic will suspend cell production at the Gigafactory 1 in Nevada after adjusting equipment after March 23. Panasonic declined to comment on the impact on its battery production.

Tesla announced on March 19 that it will temporarily suspend its assembly plant for finished cars in California starting March 23. It has also decided to shut down most operations at its solar cell factory in New York.

On the other hand, Tesla has said that its part of Gigafactory 1 and quick charging infrastructure throughout the U.S. will continue operations.

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