Solar Panel Partnership in the Works between Tesla, SolarCity and Panasonic

Solar Panel Partnership in the Works between Tesla, SolarCity and Panasonic

Tesla Motors and Panasonic Corp. are already working together on Tesla cars. Panasonic Corp. is Tesla Motors’ key partner when it comes to batteries. Now, Tesla CEO Elon Musk wants to take the collaboration further. Musk sees a solar panel partnership in the future between Panasonic Corp. and SolarCity. The two companies would work together on cutting edge solar panels and battery packs.

Elon Musk Wants Solar Panel Partnership

Next month, Elon Musk is going to propose the merger of Tesla and Solar City. SolarCity is another one of Elon Musk’s companies and has been going through some financial difficulties lately. The company has debt payments of over a billion dollars that are due by the end of the year. Also, its business model hasn’t really taken off. If the plan meets with shareholder approval at the meeting next month, Elon Musk can go ahead with his plans for SolarCity.

Billionaire Elon Musk started SolarCity as a company that would harness solar power to meet the energetic challenges of the future. The company isn’t as successful as Musk’s other ventures, Tesla Motors or Space X. But Elon Musk wants to stay the course when it comes to renewable energy. Also, on top of his commitment to the environment is the fact that it’s part of Tesla’s business strategy.

A blog post announced Tesla’s future collaboration with Panasonic Corp. Tesla Motors and the Japanese company are going to make photovoltaic cells and photovoltaic modules in Buffalo, New York. There, SolarCity is going to open the biggest factory for solar panels in North America. If everything goes according to Elon Musk’s plan, Panasonic Corp would become part of SolarCity’s operations. So, the Japanese company would start making photovoltaic cells and modules at the Buffalo factory by the middle of next year.

SolarCity Factory Part of Tesla Plan

The move is crucial to Elon Musk’s plan for Tesla. The CEO wants to integrate solar power into the operational cycle of his cars. Tesla cars produce no emissions as they run on electricity. But that electricity is often generated by burning coal. So, in his efforts to ditch fossil fuel, Musk is looking at solar energy to power up Tesla cars. Adding the element of electricity derived from solar power would make Tesla cars run for virtually free and with almost zero impact on the environment. Also, it would create a nice operational cycle.

That’s where Tesla needs SolarCity and Panasonic Corp. The photovoltaic cells and modules that Panasonic is going to make at the factory in Buffalo, New York are going to go into a new solar energy system. The system is going to charge Tesla’s Powerwall and Tesla’s Powerpack. Elon Musk plans to switch to solar and power up these stationary electricity storage units using free energy from the sun. But the CEO needs for Tesla Motors and SolarCity to merge first.

Tesla issued a statement about the partnership between a future Tesla and SolarCity combined together with Panasonic. JB Straubel is Tesla’s chief technical officer and co-founder. He had this to say:

“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.”

Image source: SolarCity