Panasonic is an electronics company based in Japan. Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) is a [electric] car maker in the United States. While the two do not seem to have anything in common, on Tuesday, they announced plans begin production of photovoltaic cells and modules at a Buffalo, NY factory. The partnership will see the Tokyo-based Panasonic paying all capital costs for the physical manufacturing with Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) signing a “long-term purchase commitment.”
It was only two months ago that the two singed a non-binding letter of intent to team up. For now, thought, the companies have not provided any financial figures on this deal.
Presently, this new factory is under construction in Buffalo, with the Tesla-owned San-Mateo, CA-based SolarCIty Corp at the help. The factory will make the photovoltaic cells and modules for use in solar panels and in non-solar roof products as well as solar glass tile roofs that Tesla has also recently announced.
According to a press release, “When production of the solar roof begins, Tesla will also incorporate Panasonic’s cells into the many kinds of glass tile roofs that Tesla will be manufacturing.”
Once the factory is complete, early next year, production of the cells and modules will begin in the middle of 2017. Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) has also let it be known that the factory will create 1,400 jobs in Buffalo with about one-third in manufacturing. Tesla has also revealed plans to continue expanding in the area. For now, Tesla Motors and Panasonic are planning to continue collaborating on solar batteries through the $5 billion Gigabattery plant Tesla is currently building just outside Reno, NV. In addition, though, Panasonic will also team up with Tesla in developing solar products at the SolarCity facility in Fremont, CA.
This will accelerate Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s vision of homes fashioned with solar tile roofs that collect and store solar power for charging large batteries that can power homes and vehicles.
At the time of the announcement, Tesla shares (NASDAQ: TSLA) were up 0.6 percent in premarket trading, Tuesday morning. Tesla rests at $219.55 per share at midday today.