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article imageTesla says no deal has been made to source batteries from Lishen

By Karen Graham     Jan 23, 2019 in Business
Juicy news and rumors don't take long to spread on the Internet, so when the first reports came out that Tesla had signed a preliminary agreement with Chinese battery maker Tianjin Lishen, they reverberated rather quickly.
This latest round of rumors started after Reuters reported on January 21 that two people " with direct knowledge of the matter" said Tesla had held talks with China’s Tianjin Lishen to supply batteries for its new Shanghai Gigafactory.
However, according to Green Car Reports, even the two sources weren't in agreement with the story - one said the companies had formed a preliminary agreement. while the other source suggested that Lishen and its batteries would still have to go through Tesla's lengthy and rigorous supplier certification.
Actually, according to Tesla, which has spent the last day or so shooting down the rumors, a supplier deal has not been signed between Tesla and Lishen. "This is completely false. Tesla previously received quotes from Lishen but did not proceed further. We have not signed any agreement of any kind with them," a Tesla spokesperson told Sebastian Blanco, a contributing writer for Forbes.
Reuters' Twitter account was inundated with tweets from people calling the news site on what just about everyone said was "fake news." Apparently, Reuters got the message because on January 22, they did tweet that both Tesla and Lishen had denied any contract was in the works.
To be totally transparent, Tesla has had discussions about expanding its battery supplier base outside of Panasonic. In November 2018, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that the company would source batteries locally for cars made in China, but they would have to meet the "exact same specifications as the 2170 cells currently used.
“Cell production will be sourced locally, most likely from several companies (incl Pana), in order to meet demand in a timely manner,” Musk said in a tweet in November, according to Reuters.
Lishen, which says its clients range from Apple and Samsung Electronics to Geely and Hyundai Motors, has joined other battery makers in aggressively pursuing contracts with the rapidly growing electric vehicle industry.
More about Tesla, Lishen, Panasonic, local supply source, Shanghai Gigafactory
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