Kurt Kelty, Tesla’s director of battery technology has been in Osaka praising Japan’s view towards technology. ‘Tesla looks to Japan for the world’s most advanced technology,’ Kelty said at an event hosted by Osaka Business and Investment Center.
On paper, Japan is an ideal site for another gigafactory. Tesla Motors already sources many parts from Japanese companies, with Japanese suppliers only seconded by North American producers.
Japan is also one of the largest markets for electric cars and quite a wealthy country – perfect conditions for a Tesla takeover.
Lastly, Japanese company Panasonic is a large stakeholder in Tesla’s first gigafactory, currently being constructed in Nevada.
However Japan’s notoriously conservative approach to business may not be a good fit for Tesla’s accelerated timelines. In fact, an unnamed Japanese company, when pushed for higher production cautioned Tesla to ‘scale down its plans for expansion.’
Kelty alluded to this cautious approach in his talk ‘We need to take risks, otherwise there will be no prosperity in business. We take risks, but it seems not the case in Japan.’
It would make sense for Tesla Motors to bypass Japanese suppliers altogether and build their own factory, however whether Tesla can afford to lose Japanese support remains to be seen.
At the speed Tesla Motors Inc. moves I’m sure it won’t be long until we find out the results of their recent courting attempts.