Panasonic, Tesla to start production of solar cells in New York

Panasonic, Tesla to start production of solar cells in New York

Panasonic, Tesla to start production of solar cells in New York


Panasonic Corp and Tesla Motors said on Dec. 27 they have agreed to start production of photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules at a factory in Buffalo, New York, as reported by Reuters. 

In a joint statement, the two companies said they plan to start production of PV modules in the summer of 2017 and increase to one gigawatt of module production by 2019.

These high-efficiency PV cells and modules will be used to produce solar panels in the non-solar roof products, according to the joint statement. 

When production of the solar roof begins, Tesla will also incorporate Panasonic’s cells into the many kinds of solar glass tile roofs that Tesla will be manufacturing, it added. 

Panasonic Corp will invest more than 30 billion yen ($256 million) in the facility of Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors to make PV cells and modules, deepening a partnership of the two companies.

Japan’s Panasonic, which has been retreating from low-margin consumer electronics to focus more on automotive components and other businesses targeting corporate clients, will make the investment in Tesla’s factory in Buffalo, New York.

The U.S. electric car maker is making a long-term purchase commitment from Panasonic as part of the deal, besides providing factory buildings and infrastructure.

The plan is part of the solar partnership that the two companies first announced in October, but which did not disclose investment details.

Tesla is working exclusively with longtime partner Panasonic to supply batteries for its upcoming Model 3, the company’s first mass-market car. Panasonic is also the exclusive supplier of batteries to Tesla’s Model S and Model X. 

As part of the agreement, Panasonic will cover required capital costs in Buffalo and Tesla is making a long-term purchase commitment from Panasonic, according to the joint statement.  The collaboration extends the established relationship between Tesla and Panasonic, which includes the production of electric vehicle and grid storage battery cells at the Tesla Gigafactory, it added.