Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) and Panasonic have been partnering the development of batteries in the former’s Gigafactory in Nevada. Recently, both companies struck another partnership to manufacture solar cells at the SolarCity Buffalo factory. However, the recent development raised a few questions considering that SolarCity has acquired Silevo along with its plant facilities.
Both the companies would have been working on solarcells and the partnership was viewed as if SolarCity may just drop the idea of manufacturing solarcells because of the Panasonic and Tesla deal. But now according to a report by Electrek, SolarCity has confirmed that it will continue to use its Silevo facility.
According to a SolarCity spokesperson, the Silevo facility is important for the company’s future. As Panasonic is also working on similar solarcells, the two companies will work together to produce the best solarcells available, with the manufacturing being done in Buffalo. According to the spokesperson, manufacturing is expected to start in summer next year.
Tesla Motors said in a blog post on Sunday that it would work with Panasonic for the production of PV cells and modules. The team said, “The parties intend for Panasonic to begin PV cell and module production at the Buffalo facility in 2017. Tesla intends to provide a long-term purchase commitment for those cells from Panasonic.”
Tesla Motors and SolarCity are still looking to get their shareholders’ approval to complete their merger. Elon Musk wants to operate both companies under one umbrella so that he can build solar panels and batteries which he considers to be the future. A shareholders’ meeting for approval of the merger will be held on November 17.
Panasonic is currently renting out space in the Gigafactory which Tesla owns, and has a long-term purchase agreement with the Palo Alto company. It needs to be seen how the latest partnership will shape out for the companies, and how Panasonic and SolarCity will work together to build solarcells in a joint partnership.