Panasonic Invests In Electric Car Maker Tesla

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Tesla Motors has gotten a $30 million investment from Panasonic, which makes the lithium ion batteries that power Tesla's electric roadsters. Panasonic wants a foothold in a market that's expected to grow to more than 40 times its current size in the next five years. It isn't the first Japanese investment in Tesla; Toyota also has a $50 million stake in it.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

NPR's business news starts with a jump-start for Tesla Motors.

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MONTAGNE: The electric carmaker has gotten a $30 million investment from Panasonic, which makes the lithium ion batteries that power Tesla's electric Roadsters. Panasonic wants a foothold in a market that's expected to grow by more than 40 times its current size within the next five years. This isn't the first Japanese investment in Tesla. Toyota also has a $50 million stake in the firm.

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