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Panasonic Expands Green Goals with $30M Investment in Tesla EVs

Shares of Tesla continued trading above $24 Monday, less than a week after the electric car maker announced Panasonic would pour $30 million into firm.

Tesla's stock had been trading below $22 since the company's initial public offering in June.

The Panasonic deal builds upon a previous relationship between the two firms, first publicly cemented in January when it was announced that Panasonic would supply litium-ion batteries to Tesla. Panasonic and Tesla are also collaborating on next generation battery cells.

According to Panasonic, the move falls in line with its greater aspirations to be a leader in green technologies. Already the company is the world's top manufacturer of battery cells. 

"Panasonic aims to be the No. 1 green innovation company in the electronics Industry by 2018, the 100th anniversary of our founding," Naoto Noguchi, president of Energy Company, a unit of Panasonic responsible for the battery cell business, said in a statement last week. "Our sophisticated lithium-ion battery cell technology, combined with Tesla's market-leading EV powertrain technology, helps us fulfill this goal by promoting sustainable mobility."

Panasonic paid $21.15 per share as part of the deal, giving the company a roughly 2 percent stake in Tesla. It isn't the only company interested in Tesla: Toyota and Daimler have both invested upwards of $50 million in the company over the last two years.

The Northern California carmaker has also received $465 million in federal loans as part of the Department of Energy's Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program.

Tesla, founded in 2003, produces the Roadster, an all-electric sportcar that starts at $101,500. It plans to begin delivering in 2012 its sedan, the Model S, with a base price of $49,000.

Image CC licensed by Flickr user fogcat5.



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