Tesla and Panasonic have assented to collaborate on the manufacturing of solar panels at a new facility in Buffalo, New York. The non-binding letter of intent is, however, contingent on shareholder approval of the Tesla/SolarCity merger. The electric car maker and Panasonic already work together to build batteries at the Gigafactory in Nevada.
Tesla, Panasonic deal dependent on SolarCity merger
A blog post on Tesla’s website said the partnership would cover the photovoltaic modules and cells used in the solar energy system that works with Tesla’s Powerwall and Powerpack energy storage products. Possibly, they will work on the new product that the electric car maker is planning to reveal on October 28. In addition, this new partnership would be an expansion of SolarCity’s current operations in Buffalo, notes The Verge. Also the automaker plans to launch integrated sustainable energy solutions for utilities, households and businesses, with the help of installation, sales capabilities and financing, from SolarCity, notes TCC.
In a statement, Tesla CTO JB Straubel said, “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.”
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The Japanese company is expected to start production of cells and modules at the Buffalo facility next year. In a statement, the automaker said that it intends to provide a long-term purchase commitment for those cells, adding that the agreement is contingent on the approval of its acquisition of SolarCity.
Showcasing merger synergies ahead of voting
SolarCity and Tesla shareholders will vote on the proposed merger between the two companies on November 17. Elon Musk, chief executive of Tesla and chairman of SolarCity, holds the greatest number of shares in both companies.
Tesla said it would provide plans for the combined company ahead of the vote. Also it is possible that this announcement and the one on October 28 are meant to exhibit the possible synergies of a merger to shareholders of both companies, notes The Verge.
In pre-market trading, Tesla shares were up by about 1%. Year to date, the stock is down more than 17%, while in the last year, they are down more than 13%. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $246.30.