Tesla, Panasonic team up to manufacture solar cells in New York

The popular electric car manufacturer Tesla and Japan-based Panasonic is gearing up to collaborate on solar cells production. According to a statement issued by Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors, it would establish a partnership with Panasonic to manufacture photovoltaic cell and modules in Buffalo, New York.

As part of the agreement, Tesla will make use of the cells and modules in a solar energy system. This will work seamlessly with a wide range of energy storage products such as Powerwall and Powerpack. Interestingly, the agreement is a non-binding letter of intent.

Commenting on the development, JB Straubel, Chief Technical Officer and Co-founder of Tesla disclosed that they are excited to expand partnership with Panasonic to move towards a combined Tesla and SolarCity. He said that by working in close tandem, the company will be able to accelerate production of high-efficiency, extremely reliable solar cells, and modules at the best cost.

Panasonic to supply batteries for Model 3 car

Meanwhile, Panasonic is already working with the US-based electric car manufacturer to supply batteries for the Model 3, which is touted as the first mass-market car. Panasonic is expected to start production at the Buffalo facility in 2017. Tesla is keeping a close watch to purchase the cells manufactured at the facility as part of a long-term purchase commitment.

Partnership with Panasonic will be vetted by shareholders

In a statement, the California-based car company disclosed that the agreement will be implemented based on shareholders approval of its acquisition of SolarCity. In early October 2016, the shareholders of Tesla and SolarCity corp had agreed to vote on the proposed merger on November 17.

Responding to media queries, Shuuji Okayama, Vice-president, Eco Solutions Company of Panasonic said that Panasonic PV cells and modules boast industry-leading power generation performance, and achieve high quality and reliability.

Meanwhile, Tesla added that the management would provide a detailed roadmap of its plans for the forthcoming joint venture well ahead of the vote. This will enable stakeholders to familiarize themselves with the whole process.