Panasonic To End ‘Production Agreement’ With Tesla At Buffalo

In Clean News, Electric Mobility, News, Products, Technology

Panasonic will end its production agreement with Tesla. It will stop producing solar cells and modules at Tesla’s factory in Buffalo, New York, ending a four-year joint venture with the electric automaker. 

The manufacturing operations will be halted by the end of May. The company will exit the factory by September. They employs about 380 people at the factory. Those employees will be given severance packages.

Panasonic struck a deal in 2016 to jointly produce solar cells at Tesla’s “Gigafactory 2” plant in Buffalo, New York. They had committed to share the cost of equipment needed for the plant. 

The joint venture deepened the relationship between the two companies, which already had established a partnership to produce battery cells at Tesla’s factory near Reno, Nevada.

Panasonic’s decision to exit the factory comes as Tesla tries to scale up its energy business as well as meet employment requirements at state-funded factory.

The Buffalo factory was built with $750 million in taxpayer funds and then leased to Tesla. Under a deal reached with the state, Tesla must employ 1,460 people there by April or face a $41.2 million penalty. As per Tesla they have already exceeded their hiring commitment.

However, it will still work with Tesla under a separate joint venture to produce battery cells at a massive factory near Reno, Nevada.

Panasonic said in a statement that the decision “will have no impact on Panasonic and Tesla’s strong partnership in Nevada.” The two companies will continue their electric vehicle battery work taking place at Tesla’s Gigafactory, according to Panasonic.

Reference- Nikkei Asian Review, TechCrunch, Futurism, New York Post

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