Kathmandu,October 17, 2016:Tesla Motors and Panasonic Corp., its key battery partner, will expand their relationship to solar panels if Tesla CEO Elon Muskâ€™s proposed merger with financially challenged SolarCity wins shareholder approval next month.
In a blog post, Tesla announced plans to work with Japanâ€™s Panasonic Corp. to makeÂ photo voltaic cells and modules in Buffalo, New York, where SolarCity is working to open the largest solar panel factory in North America. If the merger is approved on Nov. 17, Panasonic would start making cells and modules in Buffalo in mid-2017. The devices would be used for a solar energy system to charge Teslaâ€™s Powerwall and Powerpack stationary electricity storage units, the company said.
â€œWe are excited to expand our partnership with Panasonic as we move towards a combined Tesla and SolarCity,â€ JB Straubel, Teslaâ€™s chief technical officer and co-founder, said in a statement. â€œBy working together on solar, we will be able to accelerate production of high-efficiency, extremely reliable solar cells and modules at the best cost.â€
â€œWe expect that the collaboration talks will lead to growth of the Tesla and Panasonic relationship,â€ Shuuji Okayama, vice president of Panasonicâ€™s Eco Solutions unit, in a statement.
Panasonic over the years has become Teslaâ€™s key industrial partner, helping supply lithium-ion cells for Model S and Model X electric vehicles and investing in the electric-car makerâ€™s sprawling Gigafactory thatâ€™s being built near Reno, Nevada. That $5 billion project is envisioned as the worldâ€™s largest battery plant when fully built and ramped up.
BY:Â Alan Ohnsman