Tesla & Panasonic end production deal for solar cells at Gigafactory 2

EV manufacturer Tesla and Panasonic, an electronics corporation, have reportedly announced the ending of their deal for joint production of solar cells at Tesla Gigafactory 2. The two companies formed the manufacturing agreement in 2017, to expedite solar cells production in the New York factory.

The ending of solar deal occurred ahead of Tesla co-founder & CEO Elon Musk’s announcement regarding an event called ‘Tesla April company talk’ at this Gigafactory, as well as the expansion of its solar roof installs, internationally.

This Gigafactory, which has recently been renamed as Gigafactory New York, was leased by SolarCity, Tesla’s subsidiary in Buffalo, New York, shortly after the acquisition of the solar energy services company.

Tesla’s New York factory was named as Gigafactory 2, due to their aim to reach production levels of over 1 gigawatt of solar products. The deal is similar as that of Gigafactory 1, where the two companies agreed upon manufacturing solar batteries.

Panasonic has made considerable investment in the development of solar cells designed for Tesla’s own solar roof tiles, also known as Solarglass. Additionally, for adoption in the solar retrofit business of Tesla, Panasonic is also working on producing solar modules at the Gigafactory 2.

The production agreement has apparently not gone according to plan, as a low quantity of solar modules are being consumed by Tesla from the factory, leading to a slow production ramp of Solarglass. Furthermore, Tesla’s solar roof products also use solar cells made in other factories instead. Therefore, the two companies have reportedly decided to end their solar cell production deal at the Gigafactory New York.

However, the deal between the two companies to produce battery cells at Gigafactory Nevada for Tesla’s Model Y and Model 3 is not impacted by the recent closure of production deal. Tesla is also reportedly focusing on expanding production at the Gigafactory 2.

Tesla has not yet responded to request for comments regarding the ending of production deal.

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