Panasonic blames Tesla ramp for ‘occasional’ battery cell shortages

Battery maker Panasonic, the exclusive battery partner for electric automaker Tesla vehicles, said on Thursday it is experiencing occasional battery cell shortages as the carmaker ramps up production of its Model 3 sedan.

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The head of the Japanese electronics company’s auto business said during a shareholder meeting that a “sharp improvement in production” at Tesla was producing the shortages, as reported by Reuters.

Musk said the company is targeting the production of 5,000 Model 3 vehicles per week by the end of the month, despite starting out the quarter at a rate of just 2,000 vehicles. It is unclear if the battery shortages are directly tied to increased Model 3 production.

Panasonic did not immediately return FOX Business’ request for comment. When contacted earlier this week about the Model 3 production rate, a Tesla spokesperson declined to comment before the end of the quarter.

While experts on Wall Street have expressed doubt that Musk can reach his target, some analysts are expecting a significant increase in the Model 3 ramp capacity. Earlier this month, Baird analyst Ben Kallo predicted that Tesla shares could rise nearly 50%, partially based on the belief the automaker will make strides in increasing production of the Model 3.

The Panasonic executive on Thursday refused to say Tesla’s production problems had not affected its business. The battery maker also paired up with Toyota at the end of last year.