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Jul 31, 2009

Panasonic To Sponsor MIT Solar Vehicle Team

Panasonic's high-capacity lithium-ion batteries support MIT student team's entry in Global Green Challenge solar car race in Australia

Osaka, Japan - Panasonic Corporation (NYSE: PC) today announced its support of the Solar Electric Vehicle Team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT SEVT) in the team's participation for the Global Green Challenge (GGC) to be held in October 2009 in Australia. Under the sponsorship agreement, Panasonic is providing the MIT SEVT team with its high-capacity (2.9 Ah) lithium-ion batteries to be used in the team's vehicle; Panasonic will have the right to have its logo appear on the body of the vehicle.

The Global Green Challenge evolved from the World Solar Challenge, a solar car race first held in 1987 in Australia. Today the Global Green Challenge includes the World Solar Challenge for solar powered cars and the Eco Challenge for other types of environmentally conscious production cars, including fuel cell, electric and hybrid vehicles.

Teams from universities, corporations and other groups from around the world will compete, driving across the Australian continent from Darwin in the north to Adelaide in the south, over a distance of 3,021 km.

The MIT SEVT student team will compete in the World Solar Challenge with a solar powered car using Panasonic lithium-ion batteries to store its solar generated power. Separately, Panasonic will provide the same high-capacity lithium-ion batteries to a team from Japan's Tokai University which is also competing in the same category.

Solar cars use motors which run on electricity generated by solar panels. Excess electricity is stored in their batteries. The batteries supply electricity to the motor when the electricity from the solar panel is insufficient due to overcast skies or at night. In other words, the performance of solar cars in races depends not only on the capability of their solar panels but also the capacity of the batteries and the weight of the battery module.

Panasonic is providing both teams with its 18650-type cylindrical high-capacity lithium-ion battery cells which are then mounted in arrays within a storage battery module. The same type of battery cells are widely used in laptop computers. Because this type of battery, which features the highest level of energy density, is light and high capacity, it lasts longer and enables making battery modules lighter. Both teams selected the Panasonic batteries to get an edge in the race that will be run under harsh weather conditions.

Panasonic, which is committed to environmental protection, believes the Global Green Challenge will present an opportunity for the company to explore new applications of its high-capacity lithium-ion batteries. More information on Panasonic's batteries is available at from http://panasonic.net/corporate/segments/ec/.

About Panasonic

Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of electronic products for a wide range of consumer, business, and industrial needs. Based in Osaka, Japan, the company recorded consolidated net sales of 7.77 trillion yen (US$78.4 billion) for the year ended March 31, 2009. The company's shares are listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and New York (NYSE: PC) stock exchanges. For more information on the company and the Panasonic brand, visit the company's website at http://panasonic.net.

Media Contacts:

Akira Kadota, International PR
Panasonic Corporation
Tel: 03-6403-3040 Fax: 03-3436-6766
Panasonic News Bureau
Tel: 03-3542-6205 Fax: 03-3542-9018
*The content in the following news releases is accurate at the time of publication but may be subject to change without notice. Please note therefore that these documents may not always contain the most up-to-date information.

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