Panasonic shares plunge after profit warning, Tesla's big Maxwell deal

Panasonic shares plunge after profit warning, Tesla's big Maxwell deal

While there is a single problem with super- and ultra-capacitors - the sheer volume and the fact that a module of ultracaps will hold much less energy than a module of batteries of the same size - the best guess is that Tesla won't be replacing all their batteries with caps in the short-term.

Electric automaker Tesla is planning to purchase energy storage company Maxwell Technologies in an all-stock deal worth about $218 million, the companies said on Monday.

Clearly, however, the technology is still an area of interest for Musk and his company, and was a motivating factor in the acquisition of Maxwell.

Tesla does not invest lightly, as can be seen with its acquisition of Grohmann Automation, which gave it a competitive advantage and a way to maximize automation in the Tesla Model 3 production lines to get the auto to scale faster.

Maxwell sells ultracapacitor cells to General Motors and Volkswagen AG subsidiary Lamborghini.

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Ultracapacitors, combined with the energy of batteries, can enable rapid response times, function across a broader temperature range and lengthen battery life by up to two times, according to a blog post on Maxwell's website.

The offer values each Maxwell share at $4.75, representing a 55 percent premium to the stock's closing price on Friday, the companies said. Maxwell surged as much as 52 percent - a record jump - to the highest since August 1.

Maxwell executives told investors in January that it had developed and patented a "dry electrode" technology that could significantly increase the driving range and reduce the cost of electric vehicle batteries. Panasonic Corporation of Japan is the exclusive lithium ion battery supplier for Tesla sedans. Supercaps are also used to store massive amounts of electricity in national power grids. In addition to buying SolarCity Corp., the solar panel installer that was partly owned by Musk and run by his cousins Lyndon and Peter Rive, Tesla has bought small technology and engineering firms to improve its electric cars and manufacturing capabilities.

Maxwell expects the deal, which has already been approved by its board, to close in the second quarter of 2019, or shortly thereafter.

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