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Panasonic And Tesla Team Up For Solar Cell Production In Buffalo And Battery Production in Reno [Video]


Tesla Motors, Inc. and Panasonic Corp. made it official that they are teaming up to begin producing solar cells for solar panels starting summer next year at a factory to be opened in Buffalo, New York.

The joint production stemmed from an October announcement that Tesla and Panasonic had finalized plans to commence production of photovoltaic cell and its accompanying modules that are to be used in solar panels for Tesla's roof tiles and other products.

The LA Times reported that the agreement includes the production of lithium-ion battery cells for use in electric vehicles and solar storage at Tesla's $5-billion Gigafactory that is currently being built outside Reno, Nevada. The deal covers Tesla's "long-term purchase commitment" with Panasonic for the solar cells and modules that will be manufactured at the Buffalo factory. No other financial terms are available although it is reported that Panasonic will cover the necessary capital outlay for the plant's production equipment, which according to Reuters will cost 30 billion yen or USD $256 million.

SolarCity began construction of the $900 million Buffalo factory before Tesla bought it. The plant is also being built with incentives from New York amounting to $750 million. Operational, the plant will be the largest to produce photovoltaic cells in North America that can produce as much as 10,000 units a day and employing more than 1,400 people that also include 500 manufacturing jobs.

Tesla and Panasonic have been allies for many years with the latter supplying the former with Lithium-ion cells and is an investor and partner in the Gigafactory that is touted to be the largest battery plant once completed. Additionally, Panasonic is also said to be working with Tesla in the development of the next-generation solar technology, Forbes reported.

Tesla has been very active lately aside from its solar roof, it is also at work on its Supercharger V3, and there are high expectations and anticipation for its more affordable sedan, Model 3, which is expected to be launched in late 2017.

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