, the brand's first "affordable" electric vehicle, will be part of a new wave of EVs that promise more than 200 miles of range without breaking the bank. Naturally, that should spur demand a bit, but battery supplier Panasonic believes it's going to be more than just a small uptick.
According to a Panasonic executive, Tesla's electric cars should help the supplier's battery sales grow to some $4 billion in 2019, up from today's sales figures of $1.78 billion, Reuters reports. As it stands, Panasonic is Tesla's exclusive battery supplier.
Of course, at the adoption rate Tesla expects of its Model 3, Panasonic won't be able to keep up with Tesla's battery demands. Thus, the supplier is contributing more than $1 billion to help Tesla construct, a battery plant that should (should) be able to meet that sort of new-age demand for lithium ion batteries.
This all hinges, though, on Tesla's ability to build the Model 3 to meet that perceived demand. The company hopes to boost total production to half a million cars by 2018, but even as recently as last quarter, the company was unable to meet its delivery targets. That said, its production ramp-up is happening -- the company built 20 percent more cars this past quarter.