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Electric cars in China

Tesla hints at seeking new battery suppliers in blow to Panasonic

Elon Musk says Shanghai factory will 'most likely' draw on multiple sources

Panasonic is now the only supplier for automotive batteries used in Teslas, but the electric vehicle maker is looking to branch out. (Photo by Akira Kodaka)

OSAKA -- Tesla is looking to obtain automotive batteries from multiple sources for its first overseas car-assembly plant, even as current sole supplier Panasonic doubles down on the partnership and plans to move its battery operations to the U.S.

Earlier this month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk wrote on Twitter that cell production for its so-called Gigafactory in Shanghai "will be sourced locally, most likely from several companies," including Panasonic. While both sides had known this was a possibility, it is nevertheless a blow to Panasonic's battery business, which will now face greater competition from rivals.

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