Electric car-maker Tesla is to bolster its energy storage capabilities with a deal to buy US battery-maker Maxwell Technologies.
The deal values San Diego-based Maxwell at $218m and will see Tesla gain access to the company's ultracapacitors, which can rapidly deliver surges of energy.
Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has previously said he is a “big fan” of ultracapacitor technology, which can store between ten and 100 times more energy than regular capacitors.
Creating more efficient energy storage and transfer technology is seen as key to the uptake of electric cars and electric car charging points around the world.
Tesla paid $4.75 per share for Maxwell, a 55pc premium. Maxwell chief executive Franz Fink said the deal would allow Maxwell investors to “to participate in Tesla’s mission of accelerating the advent of sustainable transport and energy”.
Tesla buys its battery technology in the most part from Japanese giant Panasonic, which has increased cell production as Tesla gradually improves production for its Model 3.
The company posted its first back-to-back profits last week and said production of its Model 3, designed to be an affordable electric car, would hit 7,000 per week by the end of the year.
Maxwell had around $91m in revenue for the first nine months of 2018, according to its latest investor presentation. Lamborghini and General Motors are among its customers.
“We are 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 said.
This is Tesla’s fifth acquisition since 2015. In addition to buying SolarCity, the solar panel installer that was partly owned by Musk, Tesla has bought small technology and engineering firms to help improve its electric cars.
Tesla's share fell 2.2pc in early trading on Monday.