Tesla acquires supercapacitor maker Maxwell for $218M

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Tesla isn't known for aggressive acquisitions, and the fact they paid a decent price for the company suggests that Musk has faith in Maxwells recent claims of developing ultracapacitors.

The lure of improved lithium-ion batteries would be tempting for any electric auto company, but Maxwell's work with ultracapacitors may also provide hints at Tesla's future plans. Its focus is in energy storage and power delivery, specifically ultracapacitors, which can accept and deliver charge much faster than batteries.

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 vehicle to scale faster.

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A Tesla spokesperson told Fortune in an e-mailed statement that the company is "always looking for potential acquisitions that make sense for the business and support Tesla's mission to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy".

Tesla's offer values individual Maxwell shares at $4.75, meaning the firm is buying the battery company at a 55 per cent premium to last week's closing price of $3.07. If Tesla can be the first to bring the next generation of battery technology to market, that could allow it to bring higher energy density batteries to customers at a lower cost and at lower weights, all while increasing the speed of charging. Maxwell surged as much as 52 percent - a record jump - to the highest since August 1. If those sound like pluses for electric vehicles, you'd be right - they're already used in certain hybrid buses, and Tesla fans have debated their potential benefits for Musk's cars for years now. Panasonic Corporation of Japan is the exclusive lithium ion battery supplier for Tesla sedans. Was going to do my PhD at Stanford on them. He added that Tesla shares a common goal with Maxwell Technologies to build "a more sustainable future".

Tesla also sells power storage, often in conjunction with its solar power business, and ultracapacitors could be used in backup systems for homes and for utility power grids. The merger is expected to close in the second quarter of 2019.