Panasonic is expanding its relationship with Tesla well beyond supplying the electric vehicle manufacturer with batteries for its cars.
The Japanese technology company announced Tuesday it will invest more than $256 million in Tesla’s solar production facility in Buffalo, N.Y., Automotive News reports.
The Buffalo plant will be used to produce high-efficiency photovoltaic cells, similar to what’s being used on the French solar roadway. Tesla said the cells will be used to incorporate solar panels into existing products, and will also be used in the company’s new solar roof tiles.
“Tesla reaffirms SolarCity’s commitment to create over 1,400 jobs in Buffalo — including more than 500 manufacturing jobs,” Tesla said in a statement. “Panasonic, with its technological and manufacturing expertise in PV production, will also work with Tesla on developing PV next generation technology at SolarCity’s facility in (Fremont, Calif.)”
Under the agreement, Tesla made a long-term purchase commitment from Panasonic, who will, in turn, cover the required costs in Buffalo. Production of the PV cells is set to begin in summer 2017, and is expected to reach 1 gigawatt of module production by 2019.
Thumbnail photo via Tesla