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article imageTesla, Panasonic mull solar battery tie up

By Lucky Malicay     Oct 18, 2016 in Business
American electric car maker Tesla Motors Incorporated and Japanese appliance company Panasonic are expanding their business collaboration as they consider working on a solar battery production in the United States.
Talks have started over a joint venture to produce solar batteries in a Tesla subsidiary-run factory in Buffalo, New York. A Panasonic spokeswoman said Tesla will get the solar cell supply technology from the Japanese company for its products.
The announcement comes after Tesla agreed to acquire solar-panel company SolarCity Corporation for $2.6 billion in a deal that will allow Tesla’s chief executive Elon Musk to solidify his stake in the clean energy sector and push closer to reality his ambitious goal for a carbon-free energy and transportation firm. With a 22-percent stake, Musk will sit as chairman of SolarCity, a leading solar panel seller in the United States.
However, the deal between Tesla and Panasonic needs the approval of the American firm’s shareholders of its move to acquire the San Mateo, California-based SolarCity. Tesla and Panasonic have already collaborated on the world's biggest lithium-ion battery plant based in Nevada.
Tesla and Panasonic, which entered into a non-binding letter of intent, plan to use the Buffalo factory for the latter’s production of photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules beginning next year. These products will be used by Tesla under a long-term purchase commitment.
“Under this agreement, which is contingent upon shareholders' approval of Tesla’s acquisition of SolarCity, Tesla will use the cells and modules in a solar energy system that will work seamlessly with Powerwall and Powerpack, Tesla’s energy storage products,” Tesla said in a statement.
“With the aid of installation, sales and financing capabilities from SolarCity, Tesla will bring an integrated sustainable energy solution to residential, commercial, and grid-scale customers.”
"We are excited to expand our partnership with Panasonic as we move towards a combined Tesla and SolarCity. By working together on solar, we will be able to accelerate production of high-efficiency, extremely reliable solar cells and modules at the best cost,” said JB Straubel, chief technical officer and co-founder of Tesla.
Shuuji Okayama, vice-president of Panasonic’s Eco Solutions Company, hopes that the collaboration will lead to more growth for the two companies.
More about Tesla, Panasonic, Solar energy, solar battery, solarcity
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